DBG Wins Governor's Conservation Award

the DBG team at the Governor's Conservation Awards  (Photo by Ray Bojarski) (Left to right) Senator Gary Simpson, Representative Ruth Briggs King, Representative Dave Wilson, Representative Rich Collins, Representative Harvey Kenton Mark Davidson, Associate Vice President, Pennoni Associates; Chris Baker, President, George & Lynch; Gregg Tepper, Director of Horticulture, Delaware Botanic Gardens; Raymond J. Sander, President, Delaware Botanic Gardens; David Baird, District Coordinator, Sussex Conservation District; Sheryl J. Swed, Executive Director, Delaware Botanic Gardens; Governor John Carney, Robert Emerson, President, DACD (Delaware Association of Conservation Districts); Kasey Taylor, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS; Shawn Garvin, Secretary of DNREC

the DBG team at the Governor's Conservation Awards  (Photo by Ray Bojarski)

(Left to right) Senator Gary Simpson, Representative Ruth Briggs King, Representative Dave Wilson, Representative Rich Collins, Representative Harvey Kenton Mark Davidson, Associate Vice President, Pennoni Associates; Chris Baker, President, George & Lynch; Gregg Tepper, Director of Horticulture, Delaware Botanic Gardens; Raymond J. Sander, President, Delaware Botanic Gardens; David Baird, District Coordinator, Sussex Conservation District; Sheryl J. Swed, Executive Director, Delaware Botanic Gardens; Governor John Carney, Robert Emerson, President, DACD (Delaware Association of Conservation Districts); Kasey Taylor, State Conservationist, USDA-NRCS; Shawn Garvin, Secretary of DNREC

Governor John Carney presented the Governor's Urban Conservation Award for Sussex County to The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek (DBG).  At the May 3 ceremony held at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover, Delaware, Governor Carney said, "Today's honorees have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to improving the environment, and on behalf of the people of Delaware, I would like to thank each of them for their dedication and for their time, effort, and investment to implement model conservation practices."  The Governor was joined by Secretary of DNREC Shawn Garvin who added, "This year's honorees are wonderful and diverse examples of how we can learn from the success of others and can all be better environmental stewards by taking thoughtful and important actions to protect and enhance our water and air quality."

Ray Sander, DBG President, said "On behalf of the DBG Board, our Advisory Council, our distinguished business partners, and our generous donors and supporters, we are honored to be recognized for our commitment to conservation. Conservation has been one of our core values from the very beginning of our project. Conservation is also one of the core values of the great companies who have brought their talents and positive values to the Delaware Botanic Gardens project. We especially want to thank the Governor, our Sussex County legislators and the Sussex Conservation District for their support for Delaware Botanic Gardens.

Business and thought leaders have offered their reactions to DBG's conservation award:

"Economic growth motivated by environmental conservation greatly contributes to the economy and promotes sustainability. Botanic gardens motivate business and residential choices and encourage investment in natural resource protection. Pennoni is very proud to be the Consulting Engineers for the Delaware Botanic Gardens, a role we have played from the inception of the project. Pennoni’s investment in providing time and talent to projects such as this is an investment back into our communities on iconic projects that provide a social benefit," said Chuck Pennoni, Chairman of the Board, Pennoni Associates. Greg Sawka, President and CEO of Bancroft Construction noted "we are excited to serve as the project's Construction Manager and to work alongside some of the most devoted owners and inspirational designers in the business."  Chris Baker, President of George & Lynch, commented "as a life-long resident, I appreciate the vision and extraordinary efforts of the founders to provide for conservation, education and sensory enjoyment. The Delaware Botanic Gardens will be a unique cultural resource and a great asset for residents and the tourism industry."

Casey Sclar, Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association, noted "on behalf of our 600 Association member gardens, we are thrilled that with this award, Delaware has recognized the unique conservation contributions made by public gardens. The Delaware Botanic Gardens will contribute to the improved health of the Inland Bays and will benefit the unique ecological and agricultural features that co-exist in Southern Delaware."  Mariah Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery & Distillery, added that "we are participating in this great project because we support DBG's important environmental education role to motivate people to interact with nature and to learn first-hand the importance of conservation."

"Our nationally and internationally renowned designers, Lake/Flato Architects, RAS Landscape Architects and Piet Oudolf have strong commitments to helping us create a beautiful, sustainable public garden which celebrates our region and demonstrates the value of conservation," said Sheryl Swed, DBG Executive Director. Swed continued, "Our project is honored to be included with the other distinguished conservation honorees from across our great state."  "The Delaware Botanic Gardens' conservation commitment will be evident in every aspect of our management of the land and our approach to plant and water conservation," remarked Gregg Tepper, DBG Director of Horticulture.

The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek has embarked on a multiyear, multiphase plan to establish a flagship botanic garden for Delmarva that manifests the values motivating all garden lovers everywhere—from the magnificence of nature to the role of horticulture in learning, enjoyment, health and conservation. Founded in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Delaware Botanic Gardens will celebrate the coastal plain with a flagship sustainable garden that delights and educates visitors and inspires them to preserve Delmarva’s native landscapes.  It will create a unique, inspirational, and accessible garden for public benefit and pleasure. 

Presentation on the Master Plan in Wilmington

At the Delaware Nature Society's (DNS) inspirational Ashland Nature Center, more than 60 garden enthusiasts and horticultural thought leaders gathered on March 30 for the first public presentation of the Delaware Botanic Gardens' (DBG) Master Plan.

This Master Plan is the result of a twelve-month iterative process led by Rodney Robinson and Allan Summers of RAS Landscape Architects. Carla Markel, Delaware's former first lady and chair of the garden’s advisory council, in her opening remarks recognized the leadership of the DBG Board and all the firms and individuals who are working to bring a new public garden to the region and the State.  Rodney Robinson and Allan Summers unveiled the Master Plan and reviewed the design process, the details and multifaceted features of the garden's creative and beautifully crafted Master Plan.

The event's success was due to the great cooperation of the region's leading Horticulture organizations, the Delaware Nature Society, the Delaware Center for Horticulture and the Garden Club of Wilmington. DBG looks forward to other cooperative events with these organizations.

Construction documents signed

In mid-February 2017 DBG's final construction and site plan documents were signed by various officials involved in development of the future garden along Pepper Creek. Dennis Forney, chair of the Sussex County Land Trust—which has leased the waterfront site to the garden—joined with DBG Vice President Ray Sander and Executive Director Sheryl Swed to mark the occasion. Forney photographs courtesy Maddy Lauria, Cape Gazette

David Heatwole of Pennoni Associates, the project engineer, also added his signature. Evelyn Maurmeyer of Coastal & Estuarine Research provided the wetlands delineation for the document.

Gardens of inspiration

Groundbreaking at the garden on December 1.

Robbie Tarpley Raffish
Coastal Style Magazine | January-February 2017

With supporters who include such luminaries as former Governor and First Lady Jack and Carla Markell, the 37.5-acre Delaware Botanic Gardens breaks ground in Dagsboro as part of a decade-long marathon project.

See the complete illustrated feature at http://www.coastalstylemag.com/eastern-shore-magazine/January-February-2017/THE-GREAT-OUTDOORS/GARDENS-OF-INSPIRATION

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Robbie Tarpley Raffish
Coastal Style Magazine, January-February 2017

She may be the former Delaware first lady by the time this article is published, but Carla Markell is likely to be the first lady of Delaware Botanic Gardens for far longer. She has been a major supporter of the DBG, donating her time as chair of the Advisory Council. Here, she answers a few questions about where her passion for gardens comes from and where she sees the DBG headed. 

When did your interest for gardens develop? 

It's hard to say where my passion for gardens came from, but I know as a child I spent a lot of time outside in nature. My parents were very knowledgeable about the names of certain flowers and bushes and trees, so we would talk a lot about them. One particular memory I have is staying in a home that had an orchid room. I took on the job of spraying them, to make sure I kept the humidity level in the room up to a certain level. I loved that job! ....

How did you come to your role at DBG, and what are your hopes for the project?

This project has been very exciting for me to be a part of, particularly because there is such a dynamic team of wonderful people who are deeply committed. I'm more of a champion and an advocate, as the board and the executive director, Sheryl Swed, are driven and determined to make great progress!

Photo of Carla Markell at the DBG groundbreaking by Ray Bojarski

 

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Delaware Botanic Gardens ready to bloom in Sussex

Delaware Botanic Gardens ready to bloom in Sussex

Maddy Lauria
Cape Gazette | December 6, 2016

Along the quiet shores of Pepper Creek near Dagsboro, a world-class attraction is beginning to take shape.

State and local officials, volunteers and supporters broke ground Dec. 1 at a 37-acre parcel set to become Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek featuring natural woodlands, wetlands, meadow gardens and a serene waterfront view.

“Delaware Botanic Gardens is probably one of the most important and ambitious projects in Sussex County today,” said Delaware Botanic Gardens President Sue Ryan. “This site epitomizes the Eastern Shore, the Delmarva Peninsula – from our native trees, the plants, the smell of the marsh, the ocean – it just does not get better than this site.”

The concept of establishing a botanic garden in southern Delaware began years ago and was solidified in 2014 when the group signed a lease with the Sussex County Land Trust to use the former farmed tract for $1 a year, renewable for 99 years.

“A project like this is a marathon,” said Delaware Botanic Gardens Board Vice President Ray Sander. “We would not have this property without the far-sightedness of the Sussex County Land Trust. They saw the beauty of this land.”

Now the minds behind the design of the gardens, including world-renowned Dutch author and horticulturist Piet Oudolf and landscape architect Rodney Robinson, have a 10-year plan to meld native plants with other eye-catching foliage, carefully incorporating green infrastructure.

“Our state of Delaware has a wonderful, rich horticultural tradition that's second to none in the United States,” Robinson said. “However, most of it has been north, and it's time for it to come south to Sussex County.”

Organizers say a grand opening is set for 2019, but a lot of work still needs to be done. So far, trails have been carved out in the woodlands feature, providing a winding walkway beneath pine groves and alongside century-old southern red oak and sassafras trees.

 

Photo of Ray Sander and Dennis Forney by Jamie Pruitt, Bancroft Construction Company

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Representatives Gray and Dukes join the groundbreaking

Representatives Gray and Dukes join the groundbreaking

Office of State Representative Ron Gray
December 12, 2016

Reps. Gray (right) and Tim Dukes (left) and Senator Gerald Hocker joined the Governor and more than 100 people in gathering near the banks of Pepper Creek recently to officially break ground for the Delaware Botanic Gardens.

The ambitious project began four years ago as a grassroots movement grew into a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. In 2015 alone, the group raised more than $1 million, including private donations, grants, and contributions from the Community Transportation Fund allotments of most Sussex County legislators....

The vision is to eventually make the complex self-supporting, with revenue generated by membership dues, admission fees, gift shop and online sales, event rentals, special shows, and donations. An endowment fund has also been established.

Supporters of the project believe it can be a regional attraction that will, among other things, lure tourists from the nearby shore resorts.

 

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Delaware Botanic Gardens holds groundbreaking

Delaware Botanic Gardens holds groundbreaking

Kye Parsons
WBOC, DelmarvaLife | December 5, 2016

DAGSBORO, Del.- Gov. Jack Markell and First Lady Carla Markell and other notable Delawareans were on hand Dec. 1 for the launch of the first phase of the Delaware Botanic Gardens, the first public garden on southern Delmarva....

It is remarkable to note that the project began just four years ago as a grassroots movement that grew into a tax-exempt nonprofit organization.

“A group of Sussex County residents got together about how the quality of life could improve here and one of those issues was the creation of a public garden,” said Ray Sander, vice president of Delaware Botanic Gardens. “That group of gardeners researched for themselves and that mushroomed to the Delaware Botanical Gardens.”

In 2015 alone, the organization raised more than $1 million, including private donations, grants, and Community Transportation Fund contributions from many Sussex County state legislators.

“I’m so impressed with what you’ve done here,” said Markell during Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony. He called the garden’s initial development over the past four years “an awesome job.” As he told the garden leaders—including President Susan Ryan, Executive Director Sheryl Swed, and Vice President Ray Sander—“You had a very compelling vision.”

Markell also called his wife, Carla, “a great cheerleader” in her role as chair of the DBG Advisory Council. Among her contributions to the project was persuading the noted landscape architect Rodney Robinson of Robinson Anderson Summers in Wilmington to take the lead in refining the garden’s original site plan and in creating its master plan.

The initial phase of the garden, when it opens in 2019, will include a colorful natural meadow designed by the internationally acclaimed Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf, extensive plantings and pathways in and along the edge of the existing woodlands, a living outdoor wetlands classroom, and a temporary visitors center. A wide variety of gardens, water features, and structures will be added over the following years, including a visitor center designed by Lake/Flato, a San Antonio, Texas-based architecture firm.

“Today marks the actual physical start of this project,” said DBG President Susan Ryan in opening the ceremony. “This site epitomizes the Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula, from our native trees, the plants, the smell of the marsh, the ocean. It just does not get better than this site.”

Rodney Robinson of RAS Landscape Architects pointed out that most botanic gardens begin as parts of private estates. “This one started from the ground up—and is thus rare and even more deserving of appreciation for the work involved,” he said.

First Lady Carla Markell extolled gardens as places to think and relax, making the Delaware Botanic Gardens a special alternative to the traditional beach visits that are a mainstay of coastal Delaware. She also extended her thanks to the Longwood Foundation for providing vital seed money and to Rodney Robinson for his creative redesign of the original site plan.

Longwood Foundation President Thère du Pont said that the foundation was “pleased to be able to provide a grant that not only provided start up funds but also provided a matching grant that enabled them to get even more....” In November 2015 the Longwood Foundation awarded a $750,000 grant with a $500,000 match requirement that raised more than $1.3 million by September 2016.

The landscape designers Rodney Robinson (pictured) and Allan Summers of RAS Landscape Architects have produced a master plan for the garden. Photo by Ray Bojarski

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Delaware Botanic Gardens breaks ground

Delaware Botanic Gardens breaks ground

John Gunn, Publisher
Mid-Atlantic Gardener | December 2016

Construction of the new Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek officially began earlier this month with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site located outside the town of Dagsboro in Sussex County.

Guided by a 10-year multi-phase plan, organizers envision establishing a major public garden for the southern Delmarva region that reflects the unique environment of the coastal plain. The space will be devoted to creating inspirational, educational, and sustainable gardens that enrich local natural habitats and provide a source of enjoyment for residents and visitors.

“Today marks the actual physical start of this project,” said Susan Ryan, President of the Delaware Botanic Gardens. “This site epitomizes the Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula, from our native trees, the plants, the smell of the marsh, the ocean. It just does not get better than this site.”

Photo of DBG President Susan Ryan by Ray Bojarski

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Botanic Gardens an example of determination

Editorial
Coastal Point | December 9, 2016


Ground was officially broken for the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.

For those of you unaware of just how significant this project really is, consider that Delaware First Lady Carla Markell serves as chair of the Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) Advisory Board. The DBG has already raised $500,000 for the project, and the Longwood Foundation has donated another $750,000. Famed Dutch designer Piet Oudolf will create a native meadowland on the 37-acre site, and it will include a visitor center, pavilion, outdoor classrooms, demonstration gardens, eco-friendly parking, a wedding and special-event site and more.

This is a big deal.

“I think [the Longwood] grant really inspired everybody and put this cause on the map,” said Markell. “This [public/private partnership] is what Delaware is all about.”

The plan is to open in 2019 with the first round of plantings and structures, and the DBG has a 99-year lease on the land from Sussex County Land Trust, at a cost of $1 annually. So, yes, this project is very real, and getting ready to take form.

We are excited for the DBG — not only as a source of recreation and education for the community, but also as yet another shining example of how a community with a dream can create a reality through hard work and dedication.

Congratulations to all at DBG. Your hard work is paying off.

Attendees included Rob Arlett, Bill Allen, Ray Sander, Kathy Green, Susan Ryan, Carla Markell, Sheryl Swed, Governor Jack Markell, and Pete Schwartzkopf. Photo Copyright © Ken Arni

Attendees included Rob Arlett, Bill Allen, Ray Sander, Kathy Green, Susan Ryan, Carla Markell, Sheryl Swed, Governor Jack Markell, and Pete Schwartzkopf. Photo Copyright © Ken Arni

The garden breaks ground

Governor Markell, Carla Markell, political leaders, donors and supporters, gardeners, design and construction team members, the DBG board and Advisory Council, volunteers, and press all assembled at the site on December 1 to launch the garden's first phase. For more information, see News Releases. Thanks to our photographers: Ken Arni, Ray Bojarski, Jamie Pruitt of Bancroft Construction Company, and Diane Maddex.

Milestone met: Botanic Gardens hits Longwood goal early

Laura Walter | Coastal Point | September 23, 2016

DBG organizers proved their mettle with donations and a bunch of multi-year pledges.It’s a garden party unlike any other. The Delaware Botanic Gardens haven’t opened their gates yet, but they’re making big strides as they create southern Delaware’s first garden attraction.

Organizers announced that they’ve surpassed their most recent fundraising goals six months early, according to Raymond Sander, DBG vice president.

Last winter, the Longwood Foundation agreed to donate up to $750,000 (that’s $500,000 upfront, plus another $250,000 when DBG raises another $500,000).

The Delaware Botanic Garden met their matching goal by raising a half-million dollars by the night of the Farm Dinner, although they had until March of 2017 to meet Longwood’s deadline.

“We felt we really needed to go full-blast and use the Longwood Foundation grant as a spur [to fundraise],” Sander said. “It’s really a wonderful demonstration of how much enthusiasm and local support we have of the project.”

“So it was creative philanthropy,” Sander said.

Sheryl Swed, Peter Carter, Gregg Tepper, and First Lady Carla Markell celebrated the organization's successful fundraising. Photographs by Tyler Valliant, Coastal Point

Sheryl Swed, Peter Carter, Gregg Tepper, and First Lady Carla Markell celebrated the organization's successful fundraising. Photographs by Tyler Valliant, Coastal Point

Thumbnail photograph by Tyler Valliant, Coastal Point: First Lady Carla Markell, left, spends time with Sheryl Swed at the annual Farm Dinner at Good Earth Market on September 15. 

Delaware Botanic Gardens hits fundraising milestone

Delaware Botanic Gardens hits fundraising milestone

By Maddy Lauria
Cape Gazette, September 27, 2016

Annual farm dinner raises thousands for downstate garden

After enjoying an elegant dinner under a warmly lit tent at Good Earth Farm in Ocean View Sept. 15, 200 supporters of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek celebrated a major fundraising milestone.

Thanks to money raised by the annual farm dinner fundraiser, as well as individual donations and pledges, more than $500,000 for the garden project has been raised in the last nine months, meeting the match obligation of a Longwood Foundation grant that will provide an additional $750,000 to get the garden up and running.

“People say it's rare for a public garden to be founded by a group of citizens or a private community,” said Sue Ryan, Good Earth Market owner and president of the project's board of directors. “But it's because of all [the people] under this tent and many, many others, that we have secured a beautiful 37-acre site for the garden, we've gotten a group of world-class designers, and we're working quickly toward our permitting process and a groundbreaking in 2017.”

The initial $1.25 million will fund infrastructure costs and the first plantings, which are expected to begin next year on the 37-acre waterfront parcel on Piney Neck Road near Dagsboro.

“It is one of the most important and ambitious projects in Sussex County today,” Ryan said.

 

Thumbnail photo by Kathy Lynn Photography

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Pride of place on Pepper Creek

Pride of place on Pepper Creek

Arnold Berke
Letters from Camp Rehoboth
September 16, 2016

If you worry, as I do at times, that Sussex County is being paved over from stem to stern, then take heart in a band of residents creating a very different future on a former farm west of Bethany Beach.

These stalwarts are trans- forming 37 acres of fields, forest, and marsh into the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, to showcase the distinctive but under- appreciated flora and fauna of the coastal plain. Hard work and high-end design talent are moving their gleam in the eye toward launching a public garden with year-round beauty and inspiration for locals and tourists alike.

When fleshed out with thousands of mostly native plants, the site—near Dagsboro on Pepper Creek off Indian River Bay—will host a meadow garden by a star designer, woodland laced with footpaths, display and demonstration gardens, pond, amphitheater, and, embosomed between woods and fields, a striking visitor center. A full menu for a wide audience—from kids giggling through their first immersion in nature to seasoned plant-lovers who can rattle off all those Latin horticultural names.

Courtesy Camp Rehoboth | www.camprehoboth.com | Piet Oudolf meadow photograph by Heather Edwards, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, U.K.

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Delaware Botanic Gardens eyes eco-friendly construction

Delaware Botanic Gardens eyes eco-friendly construction

Construction to include stormwater garden, minimal buildings

By Maddy Lauria | Jun 01, 2016 | Cape Gazette

Plans are moving forward on the multimillion-dollar Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, which hopes to awe audiences before they even park their cars.

At a recent board meeting, experts behind the project unveiled a conceptual plan for the garden, which includes a specially designed parking lot with a stormwater-fed garden leading visitors to meadow trails and woodland paths.

Ted Flato of Texas-based Lake Flato Architects Inc., said the project will bring together three ecosystems – shaded woodlands, a sunny meadow and waterways.

“So really, just two steps and a turn to the right and you're in another world,” Flato said. “It is an amazing piece of land, and this is really a great use of the land.”

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Longwood graduate students visit

Jules Bruck, associate professor, Landscape Design, University of Delaware, toured the site on April 11 with her Longwood graduate students. Rodney Robinson, DBG's landscape designer, led the tour with officers Sue Ryan, Ray Sander, and Sheryl Swed. Photographs by Dana Kester-McCabe, Publisher, Delmarva Almanac

The spring migration has started! Newly cleared paths meander through the site's 12 acres of woodland. Executive Director Sheryl Swed awaitED the group near the Pepper Creek shoreline. — at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

The spring migration has started! Newly cleared paths meander through the site's 12 acres of woodland. Executive Director Sheryl Swed awaitED the group near the Pepper Creek shoreline. — at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

On the path to plans at Delaware Botanic Gardens

On the path to plans at Delaware Botanic Gardens

Jon Bleiweis | delmarvanow.com
February 29, 2016

Armed with a camera and an iPhone, Piet Oudolf worked his way through the newly formed paths of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek. When something caught his eye, he'd stop, observe and record.


It was the second time the world-renowned garden designer visited the garden near Dagsboro. He's been charged with creating a meadow garden at the site. He was last there in October.
Since then, he has noticed quite few changes. Horticulture director Gregg Tepper and his team have begun creating distinct pathways, bordered by logs. Gathering points Tepper called birds nests, one big enough for a group to stand in rather comfortably, served as meeting spots along the trail.


"You can see a real difference in what they have done," Oudolf said.

Oudolf was walking well behind a group of board members and supporters for the garden, taking his time to find what would catch his eye. He came across a dead tree, whose orange hue provided a contrast on the otherwise brown ground.

 Photograph: Ted Flato and Piet Oudolf during the charrette

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Planned Delaware Botanic Gardens nets first major philanthropic gift

By Annie Ropeik
WDDE/Delaware Public Media, December 10, 2015

The prospective Delaware Botanic Gardens (http://www.delawaregardens.org/) has received the first major grant that could help make it a reality within two years.

The Longwood Foundation is giving the nonprofit group that's planning the Sussex County gardens $500,000, plus another $250,000 if the garden can match that half-million dollar gift.
Altogether, says gardens board VP Ray Sander, it's facilitating them raising $1.25 million of the $4.1 million they'll need to open their gates. Before this, he says they never had more than $100,000 on hand.

Up until now we've just been fooling around with pictures and dreams and sketches," Sander says. "So now we have some money to start moving earth and start making a difference out there."

The gardens are set for a 38-acre parcel of woodlands and uplands along Pepper Creek near Dagsboro.

They'll be designed in part by Piet Oudolf, who crafted the High Line in New York City and other acclaimed gardens around the world. The site will also have a visitors center and outdoor classroom.

Sander says they're aiming to raise the money they need by summer 2017.