There are many perks to city life, but most people may see the lack of nature as one of the drawbacks. However, Wilmington, DE is fortunate enough to have one of the largest and most impressive nature and wildlife refuges in the country. Situated on 212 acres along the Wilmington Waterfront, the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge provides an oasis for nature lovers who want to learn about wildlife. It’s long been a popular destination for school field trips and educational family outings.
Our Delaware adoption professionals think this refuge is one of the crown jewels of Wilmington, and if you’ve got kids, we highly recommend taking a family trip here at least once. Some of our favorite aspects of the Russel W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge include:
DuPont Environmental Education Center
The DuPont Environmental Education Center is the centerpiece of the refuge and is home to year-round public and educational programs, along with a pond loop extending into the marsh of the area. The nature center has several noteworthy features, including:
- 10-acre ornamental garden
- A quarter-mile pond loop through freshwater tidal marsh
- 4-story environmental center with panoramic views of the wildlife refuge
You can catch views of a variety of different types of wildlife in the refuge, including:
- Bald Eagles
- Wild rice
- & Much more
The unique rotation of year-round programming helps local residents, school groups, youth groups, and others make the most out of their visits to the refuge. Some upcoming and ongoing programs include:
Rhythm In Nature: Zumba Fitness
This program combines breathtaking views of downtown Wilmington, the Christina River, and the wildlife refuge’s marsh with the aerobic exercises of Zumba. Exercising in this beautiful natural environment helps give your adrenaline an extra pump. Zumba fitness combines elements of Latin and international music and dancing, such as hip-hop, Cumbia, and Reggaeton. This program runs every Monday from January through July at 5:30-6:30 pm.
Green By Nature Preschool
Geared towards children between 2-5 years old, the Green By Nature Preschool series holds educational classes Tuesdays at alternating sites in the region. Other locations include Ashland Nature Center and Coverdale Farm Preserve.
In February, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is hosting two of these events. The first is February 6th and called Ice Ice Baby, in which kids can learn about and play with ice, including lessons on the properties of ice and hands-on experiments with the substance. On February 27th, the program is Busy Little Beavers, where kids can learn about what beavers eat during the winter, explore the river bank, and make their own crafts.
Parent’s Night Out: Animals In Winter
In this program, kids are left at the DuPont Environmental Education Center for a lesson on winter wildlife, while parents are given a coupon for a dinner at nearby Timothy’s Riverfront Grill. This allows parents to have some quality time alone while their kids receive a valuable educational experience before the family reconvenes at the end of the evening.