DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that starting Friday those aged 13 or older are required to bring a face mask with them to enter state parks, wildlife areas and reserves, and should wear the mask when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors. Those who do not bring face masks when visiting these areas may be required to leave by DNREC Natural Resources Police officers or staff.
This decision is in accordance with Governor John Carney’s thirteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which requires Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings. Visitors to DNREC parks and areas must wear a face covering where social distancing is difficult, such as on boat ramps, narrow trails, and when they encounter anyone not in their household including other visitors and staff. Masks are required at all times at the Ommelanden shooting range.
“In order to keep our outdoor public spaces for all members of the public to enjoy, visitors to state parks, wildlife areas and reserves must heed social distancing and mask requirements,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “We need our visitors to do their part to help keep these areas safe for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Visitors are also asked to be mindful of the length and frequency of their visits, and to avoid peak times. The safest way to enjoy state parks is sparingly, as needed, and during off-peak times: before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily.
While most state parks, wildlife areas and reserves continue to stay open for Delawareans during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” emergency order from Governor Carney, DNREC has a few guidelines for visitors to stay safe:
Bring a mask and wear it when needed. Parks and wildlife areas are becoming increasingly