The Reserve is pleased to announce the Appoquinimink River Association’s Race for our Rivers 5K and Fun Walk to be held at the Blackbird Creek Reserve on October 23rd at 9am. After enjoying the run, join us for the Blackbird Creek Fall Festival which will be a day of fun for the whole family. Admission to the Festival is free! Listen to the sounds of live bands including the Bog Turtle Band, 3Buds, Celtic Harvest, and Nice Like Dat. Explore the Reserve by canoe, by foot, or by hay ride! There will be demonstrations by the DelBay Retriever Club and Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert; in addition to, vendors, exhibitors, and kids crafts! We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!
Located in Kent County Delaware, the St. Jones River watershed covers 57,643 acres of the Delaware Bay Basin. The St. Jones River is dammed at Silver Lake in Dover and then winds 10 miles through residential and commercially developed areas, the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area before emptying into Delaware Bay.
Flat wetlands, usually forested, exist mostly in the upper portion of the watershed and eventually drain into creeks and streams. Nontidal riverine wetlands and tidal wetlands line the banks of the river, sometimes up to 1/2 mile wide toward the mouth of the river. Wetlands comprise 9,669 acres of the watershed and provide critical services such as nutrient removal, erosion control, habitat for plants and wildlife, flood reduction, and storm water storage to the citizens of Delaware. The extent to which wetlands can perform these functions and thrive in the future depends on their health.
The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control conducted a study to determine the health of both tidal and nontidal wetlands in the St. Jones River watershed, changes in wetland acreage, and to identify the presence of wetland stressors that are degrading wetlands.
So, how did we fair? Visit the website and see the Report Card for yourself!
Join a naturalist from the St. Jones Reserve as we journey on the St. Jones River on a 24 foot Skiff boat. Enjoy this leisurely boat trip to explore the cultural and natural history of the river. Be on the look out for Great Blue Herons, Kingfishers, and Cormorants. The boat will leave Scotton Landing just south of Dover, Delaware on September 22nd, 2010 at 10:00 am and return to the Landing at noon. For more information or to register please call 302-739-3436. Register quick as space is limited.
Written on: September 3rd, 2010 in St. Jones Reserve
Can it be that there is still lotus lily (Nelumbo lutea) growing along the St. Jones River? Absolutely and we’ve seen it with our own eyes! Staff from the St. Jones Reserve and the University of Delaware – Cooperative Extension went on a lotus lily expedition last week to explore the existence of this beautiful plant in our very own St. Jones River. Why would we even go on such a journey? Well, it has been documented that the upper reaches of the St. Jones River at one time had acres of lotus lily growing. However, in the 1930’s the river was dredged which allowed brackish water (mixture of fresh and salt water) to move further up the river into primarily freshwater areas. Lotus lily is a freshwater plant and cannot tolerate salt or brackish water; therefore, as the brackish water intruded into its growth zone along the St. Jones it began to die back. At least that is a theory.
The good news is the lotus lily is not completely gone in the St. Jones! And, what a beautiful sight it is. The large greenish blue leaves towering above the water, the yellowish white flowers, and the unique seed pods are amazing to behold. Lotus lilies are quite common in states in the Mississippi drainage basin. However, this beautiful plant is considered to be a rare native in Delaware.
For more information about lotus lilies in the St. Jones River, Delaware check out these references:
Delaware Federal Writers Project, Delaware, a guide to the First State, 1938, 1948.