With a focus on “developing a countywide land preservation strategy,” a New Castle County task force has released an online survey open to county residents.

The New Castle County Land Preservation Task Force is looking for some public feedback on a variety of land preservation topics.

Launched in August 2019 with a focus on “developing a countywide land preservation strategy,” the task force recently released an online survey open to New Castle County residents.

The survey can be found online at nccde.org/174/Land-Use. The survey is open through March 17.

New Castle County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, District 3, said the task force’s survey is meant to help the members decide how to prioritize funding for open space, parkland and farmland preservation.

“We have 10 park districts in New Castle County,” Kilpatrick said. “We know that three of those are underdeveloped as far as park goes.”

Kilpatrick added that there are active recreation statistics from the federal government noting the ratio between number of residents and open available parkland.

“There are many people who think we should only have open space – space that is not developed into ballparks and trails,” she said. “So we are trying to put together a ranking that says … ‘what would be the most important?’”

The five-page, seven-question survey is broken down by questions regarding open space, farmland, and funding, with a final section for a brief demographic profile that also has a blank section for other thoughts and suggestions for county land preservation.

Statewide data

A 2018 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation noted that 96 percent of Delawareans surveyed indicated outdoor recreation is important to their quality of life.

The 2018 survey also revealed that 55 percent of residents participate in outdoor recreation for their physical fitness, and to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The plan notes that there are a total of 143,480 acres of publicly accessible outdoor recreation and conservation lands throughout Delaware.

The National Recreation and Park Association website noted that typical park and recreation agency offers one park for every 2,181 residents served, with 10.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents.