Wedding of your Dreams

Part One – Wedding of your Dreams

To celebrate Earth month, we’re highlighting just a few incredible visionaries who have made our parks what they are today. With their dedication and activism, these remarkable individuals not only helped shape our state parks but environmental history! We call these environmental protectors the Pioneers of Preservation.

An Outspoken Advocate for the White Clay Creek Valley: Dorothy P. Miller

Dorothy Miller, wearing binoculars around her neck and posing for a photo while birding with 2 companions in the forest.
Dorothy Miller, center, taking in the splendor of nature by birding.

From lobbying legislators to organizing community support, Dorothy P. Miller was involved in every major effort to preserve the natural beauty of the White Clay Creek Valley during her adult life. Her efforts resulted in a major increase of protected lands – from just 24 acres to almost 3,000 acres which are enjoyed today by millions of visitors and residents of the Newark area. Dorothy strongly believed that we must “conserve as much of the stream valley as we can for future generations.” Us too, Dorothy.

A Vision for Parks and Recreation: Bill Hopkins

Headshot of Bill Hopkins from shoulders up, smiling while wearing park uniform in office setting.
Bill Hopkins, spent decades working to protect the environment.

Bill Hopkins came to Delaware in 1964 as the first superintendent of Cape Henlopen State Park. With him he brought a vision that would shape preservation in the state for years to come. For more than 40 years Hopkins was a driving force in preserving our lands as a previous Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation, educator, advocate to elected officials locally and nationally, and mentor to a generation of park professionals. By encouraging ingenuity, teamwork and entrepreneurship, Hopkins gave us the framework to continue his passion to save our state’s special places! To commemorate Hopkins, he became one of the first Pioneer of Preservation.

A Champion of Open Space: Lynn Williams

Lynn Williams, smiling, and surrounded by members of the parks and recreation community at the dedication of an educational wayside  display highlighting to her life’s work. Standing atop a hill which overlooks an expanse of woodland. Iconic rock walls of Brandywine Creek State Park pictured in background.
Lynn Williams, second from left, at the dedication of an educational wayside dedicated to her life’s work.

Lynn Williams fell in love with New York’s rural landscapes as a child and brought that passion to Delaware in adulthood, proclaiming, “We must educate and advocate now in order to conserve for the future.” In the early 1960s, Williams led the fight to protect land along the banks of the Brandywine River from development – saving the space which became Brandywine Creek State Park! Williams helped found the Delaware Nature Society and has worked closely with groups such as the Girl Scouts of America, the state’s Parks and Recreation Council and Woodlawn Trustees to advocate preservation across the First State. Three separate Delaware governors have appointed her to chair the state’s Open Space Council!

Ordinary people with big visions and a passion for natural lands made generations-long impacts in our Parks. Make yours.

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