James Farm Master Plan
🚨 Attention Neighbors and Friends!! 🚨
In 2014, the James Farm Ecological Preserve adopted a a Master Plan which called for various improvements at the Preserve. The goal was simple: retain the unique James Farm experience while accommodating the growing number of visitors.
Starting November 13, 2018, this vision will begin to become reality. Phase One improvements to the parking lot and entrance area will commence with installation of a DelDOT-approved entrance, followed by installation of parking area that will accommodate 27 cars, and a new event lawn.
While the Preserve WILL be open during construction, there will be some inconvenience to visitors. There will be some road delays on Cedar Neck Road in accordance with DelDOT regulations. Parking will be available on the east side of Cedar Neck Road throughout construction.
Preserving a wild place requires a plan. Last year, the Preserve felt the footsteps of 10,000 visitors, many with their four-legged friends, and welcomed nearly a thousand students for a day of watershed education. It was clear that to protect the forest, marshes, beaches and wetlands AND accommodate the needs of a growing number of visitors would require a plan.
In 2014, the Center for the Inland Bays hired Oasis Design Group, a landscape architecture and master planning firm located in Baltimore, MD, to assist the CIB with the development of the master plan. This plan identifies facility needs such as restrooms and parking, storage for equipment and education programs, trail improvements and interpretive signage and provisions for special events It will guide us in accommodating the needs of visitors while protecting and preserving the plant and animal communities that make James Farm unique.
Funding support for creating the master plan was obtained through several grants obtained by the Center which include grants from USEPA National Estuary Program, the State of Delaware, Sussex County Council, and the University of Delaware Sustainable Coastal Communities Initiative.
Implementation will be conducted in two phases:
Phase 1: Address the pressing need for enhancement of the entrance and welcome area, including:
- New entrance signage and driveway
- Expanded parking facilities with a safe bus drop-off area for students
- Enhance the special event lawn
- Improve launch points into the trail system
Timeline: The design and engineering work has already been completed and first phase construction is anticipated to begin in the spring or summer of 2018.
Phase 2: Address educational needs, including:
- Additional educational gathering, seating, and teaching spaces that are separated from maintenance facilities;
- Improved storage facilities for education and maintenance equipment;
- A permanent restroom facility;
- Trail improvements including the relocation or renovation of failing boardwalks;
- 18 educational signs focused on the natural history and processes of the Preserve
- Additional welcome area amenities, including a donor recognition wall.
Timeline: Planning for this phase is also anticipated to begin in spring/summer 2018.
Project Fact Sheet
- Historical Analysis and Map of Vegetation Communities, Land Covers, and Habitats of the James Farm Ecological Preserve Sussex County, Delaware 1954-2012 >>
- Read the full version James Farm Master Plan (PDF) »
- View a PowerPoint Presentation of the Master Plan (PDF) »
- Download the above Fact Sheet (PDF)»