Representatives from Wilmington, including Mayor Purzycki, broke ground for the $25 million construction of the long-awaited South Wilmington Wetlands Park. The 20-acre wetlands project will create a stormwater management facility that will help to reduce flooding, restore and enhance existing wetlands, and create a new open recreational space for the Southbridge community and all citizens to enjoy.
“This project is a big deal for Wilmington,” said the Mayor, “especially for the residents of the Southbridge community and other parts of South Wilmington, which have had to deal with persistent, damaging flooding for far too long. I’m sure that the South Wilmington Wetlands Park will make a huge difference for this part of the City. It won’t solve all of our high-water problems, but it will help to mitigate these issues and provide a beautiful park for everyone to enjoy.”
Planning for this project began more than 15 years ago, when the Southbridge community identified the current site as a suitable location for a wetlands park. It has taken more than a decade to acquire the land needed to build the park as well as to complete the planning and engineering and receive federal and state permits. During that time the City of Wilmington has been working with other agencies, non-profits, and the Southbridge community to develop a park that incorporates community feedback to address ongoing issues of flooding and contamination.
The 20-acre project includes the restoration of 14 acres of degraded wetland to a high-functioning freshwater tidal wetland habitat in South Wilmington with a trail system. This will enhance coastal resiliency, improve soil and water quality, and restore habitat for a variety of fish and wetland and aquatic wildlife.
The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.