“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Delaware City in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Leah Roedel: First Lady of Parks

Pioneer of Preservation

Leah Roedel: First Lady of Parks Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 31, 2021
1. Leah Roedel: First Lady of Parks Marker
Fort DuPont State Park
Tucked beneath the northern foot of Reedy Point Bridge, Fort DuPont is one of the last open riverfront areas left in northern New Castle County. Once farmland, the site has been dedicated to defending the Delaware River since 1864.

A Personal Triumph
Leah Roedel campaigned for more than 15 years to make Fort DuPont a state park. In recognition of her unflagging dedication, Leah was invited to sign, as a witness, the document that created Fort DuPont State Park in March of 1992. "Not only must we provide facilities to meet demands for weekend or vacation camping, picnicking, hunting, fishing, or swimming for all our families," she said, "but we should also plan neighborhood parks for daily use and adequate open space to counterbalance land used for industry, housing, and highways."

Lifetime Commitment
A true pioneer in preservation, Leah was a major force in the passage of a 1958 bill to purchase public recreation and conservation land. More than 40 years of commitment to the state park system have earned Leah the title of "First Lady of Parks." When she was appointed

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to the State Park Commission in 1964, Delaware had only four state parks: Fort Delaware, Trap Pond, Brandywine Springs, and Lums Pond. Leah had the satisfaction of being part of that commission and its successor, the Parks and Recreation Council, as it met its goal of acquiring nine state parks by 1980. Today, there are 13 state parks, in large part due to dedicated citizens like Leah.

In addition to its historic heritage, the area surrounding Fort DuPont is an important natural resource, providing irreplaceable nesting habitat for migratory wading birds and offering an array of recreational opportunities.

Following a succession of fortifications during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, Fort DuPont became a training base for troops during World War I and housed German prisoners of war during World War II.

Leah believes strongly that human interests should be balanced with preservation of wildlife and natural habitat. "We need to manage our parklands in the best environmental way we can. The wildlife was here before we humans came in."
Erected by Delaware State Parks.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesParks & Recreational Areas

Leah Roedel: First Lady of Parks Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), May 31, 2021
2. Leah Roedel: First Lady of Parks Marker
Women. In addition, it is included in the Delaware State Parks series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1992.
Location. 39° 34.431′ N, 75° 34.803′ W. Marker is in Delaware City, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is on Wilmington Avenue, 0.2 miles north of Exchange Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 93 Wilmington Ave, Delaware City DE 19706, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post Exchange (approx. ¼ mile away); Parade Grounds (approx. 0.3 miles away); Constructed by First Engineers (approx. 0.3 miles away); Theatre (approx. 0.3 miles away); Post Headquarters (approx. 0.3 miles away); Commanding Officer Quarters (approx. 0.3 miles away); Officers Row (approx. 0.4 miles away); Floated Across The River (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delaware City.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 1, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 300 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 1, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 19, 2024