Going Green!

Bluegrass festival to celebrate music, swamplands

Coastal Point • Submitted: New & Spare Fools will be performing at the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, May 20.Coastal Point • Submitted: New & Spare Fools will be performing at the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, May 20.The Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival, set for Saturday, May 20, celebrates not only a classic American musical genre, but also arts and crafts, food and, of course, the Great Cypress Swamp itself.

The festival will once again be held on the Roman Fisher Farm, 24558 Cypress Road, near Frankford. The event is a fundraiser for Delaware Wild Lands, which owns and manages 10,500 acres of the Great Cypress Swamp, which is the largest forest on the Delmarva Peninsula.

This year’s lineup of bands promises to bring on some serious toe-tapping: The High & Wide, Flatland Drive, Free Range, Blue Crab Crossing and New & Spare Fools (featuring Mickey Justice and Todd Smith of Such Fools, Jon Simmons and Martin Wirtz of New & Used Bluegrass and Wes Parks of No Spare Time).

This year, for the first time, the festival will have a craft vendor area. Delaware Wild Lands spokesperson Wendy Scott said festival organizers have teamed up with the Dewey Artist Collaboration, a group of artists and craftspeople who have joined together to promote the artists’ community in the area, as well as the sale of their work.

County discusses trash, illegal dump sites

Trash has been a topic of discussion for some time in Sussex County. Over the years, County Councilman Sam Wilson has voiced his upset with littering, and Councilman Rob Arlett recently focused on illegal dump sites.

At the May 9 council meeting, County Constable Ryan Stuart said one of the main responsibilities of his office is to handle property-maintenance complaints.

Bethany Beach Nature Center to celebrate Earth Day this Saturday

While “every day is Earth Day” at the Bethany Beach Nature Center, Saturday, April 15, will be an extra-special day at the former Addy Cottage.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the center will host an early Earth Day celebration that director Nancy Lucy said will bring together entertainment and education in a way that is sure to please all its visitors.

Bearhole Farms gives a whole new look to farming

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.At the entrance to a greenhouse at Bearhole Farms near Roxana sits a blue tank about the size of a small hot tub. Orange-finned flashes flit around the bottom and a pump emits a constant thrum.

“That’s the engine,” says Bear Hole proprietor Cindy Stevens. The heart of the engine, which produces a perpetual harvest of 3,000 lettuce plants inside the 1,700-square-foot greenhouse, is fish. About 350 koi, common goldfish and channel catfish, to be precise.

In addition to swimming around the tank, the fish eat... and then when that food turns to fish waste, it is released into a system of channels that run under the lettuce plants, watering and feeding the plants. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

Organizers break ground on groundbreaking garden

Coastal Point Photos • Laura Walter: It’s not really a ground-breaking event without dignitaries, officials and volunteers chipping in to get things started, and things got started in a major fashion at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Coastal Point Photos • Laura Walter: It’s not really a ground-breaking event without dignitaries, officials and volunteers chipping in to get things started, and things got started in a major fashion at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.It all started in 2011 with a small cocktail party and a meeting at the library. Now, the governor and Delaware’s First Lady are attending groundbreakings and the endowment is growing for the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

On the cool, sunny morning of Dec. 1, most of the leaves had fallen in Dagsboro, obscuring the ground where flowers will reappear next spring, and where miles of green briar have already been heaved out.

“The Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek will be a world-class, inspirational, educational and sustainable public botanic garden in southern Delaware, created for the benefit and enjoyment of all,” their mission promises.

Drivers cautioned to watch out for terrapins crossing area roads

Drivers are being urged to use extra caution when traveling Delaware’s coastal highways through June and July. As the summer gets under way, female Diamondback terrapins are crossing Route 1 to lay their eggs in the soft sand of the ocean dunes, and many are killed in the process.

Shellfish aquaculture public hearing on June 8 moved to Millville VFC

The DNREC Division of Water’s Wetlands & Subaqueous Lands Section will conduct a public hearing Wednesday, June 8, to solicit input on the proposed Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for shellfish aquaculture in specific designated shellfish aquaculture development areas (SADA) in Delaware. The hearing will start at 6 p.m. at the Millville Fire Hall, 35554 Atlantic Avenue, Millville.

Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier after major repairs

Gov. Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small were joined by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Acting Assistant Director Paul Rauch, Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, other legislators and members of the community on May 25 to mark the reopening of the newly-repaired 1,300-foot Cape Henlopen State Park Fishing Pier.

Annual Youth Fishing Tournament set for June 4

As part of its activities for National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4-12, Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will hold its 30th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 4, at Ingrams Pond in Millsboro, Wyoming Pond in Wyoming and at the dog training area of Lums Pond State Park in Bear.

Delaware State Parks Day offers free admission on June 5

Gov. Jack Markell this week proclaimed June 5 as "Delaware State Parks Day" and along with his proclamation, offered the reminder that, through sponsorship from the Delaware Tourism Office’s “Visit Delaware,” admission is free that day to most parks comprising the Delaware State Parks system, which garnered the Gold Medal Award this year as the nation’s best-managed parks system.

American Wetlands Month features research, special programs

This month, DNREC is observing American Wetlands Month with ongoing efforts to restore wetlands, raise awareness of their values and benefits, and encourage actions to protect them.

Plant-focused foods to star at Rehoboth Beach VegFest

Rehoboth Beach VegFest, an annual celebration of green, kind and sustainable living, is set for the weekend of June 10-12. The centerpiece of the weekend is the free outdoor festival on Saturday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Epworth Church off Coastal Highway in Lewes. Rehoboth VegFest offers everything from raw green smoothies and juices to vegan soul food.

Botanic Gardens adds two new board members

The Delaware Botanic Gardens board of directors has elected two new members, Ruth Rogers Clausen and Janet Meenehan Point. The additions bring to 10 the number of board members who are working to open the garden along Pepper Creek in Dagsboro. An Advisory Council adds a dozen professionals to the project’s expertise.

Delmarva Power launches new easy-access solar app

Delmarva Power is aiming to make it easier for customers to install solar panels on their rooftops and connect them to the electric distribution system. One recent change will allow customers who are interested in installing solar panels to bypass the paper process and instead complete an online application.

Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival bringing music to the swamp

Notable musicians, food and craft beer on hand

Even though the weather forecast for Saturday is for rain (at this point, is anyone surprised?), the planners of the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival near Gumboro are hopeful that the day won’t be a washout.

Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival set for May 21 in Frankford

Event featuring Grammy-nominated guitarist to benefit Delaware Wild Lands

Grammy-nominated musician Courtney Hartman will headline the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival in Sussex County on May 21. In addition to her solo career, Hartman is also guitarist and vocalist for the all-female group Della Mae.

Create nautical flag art at Delaware Seashore State Park

The International Code of Signals is a system of signals that mariners use to communicate messages between vessels, typically regarding safety and navigation. The surfmen of the United States Life-Saving Service likely used the code on a regular basis.

Paddle Second Chance set for June 25

Paddle Second Chance (PSC) this week announced their fourth annual stand-up paddleboard (SUP) and kayak day of racing and fundraising for Operation Second Chance (OSC), set to take place June 25.

Wildlife-area visitors asked to respect state’s natural resources

With the arrival of spring weather, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are increasing patrols and monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity, such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.

Coastal Kayak to host fundraisers May 22, June 19

Coastal Kayak of Fenwick Island will be host two more fundraisers for two local charities this summer: Cancer Support Community and Delaware Audubon Society.