Reclaiming Urban Greenspace in Wilmington, DE

(Photo credit: National Wildlife Federation)

Vestiges of our country’s industrial past are the source of present-day environmental hazards in many US cities. Lingering industrial pollution often disproportionately affects low-income communities close to the sites of former plants, factories, and mills. The site of a steel mill closure in Wilmington’s Claymont community has devolved into a 400-acre brownfield, heaping environmental challenges onto an already economically depressed community.

With funding from the Bezos Earth Fund, the Claymont Community Coalition will carry out one of the top priorities of Delaware’s Justice40 Oversight Committee, a large-scale remediation and restoration of a portion of the brownfield that will be known as Riverfront Park.

Partnering with the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition will conduct ecological restoration of the area, as well as implement recreational amenities designed by the Claymont community. It will also reconnect Claymont to the riverfront area via a four-mile fitness trail, rectifying a separation caused when I-495 was built in 1962.

To support the broad scope of the multiphase Claymont Riverfront Project, the Coalition also hopes to leverage the Earth Fund award to secure matching and additional state and federal funding.

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