FREDERICA — After a year that saw people flock to outdoor spaces due to the pandemic, the town of Frederica has two new attractions that offer fresh air and fresh produce — a newly developed farmers market and the town’s first public park.
“It’s definitely something different for the town,” Mayor William “Chick” Glanden said. “We’ve never had anything like this as far as the park and the farmers market. It’s all new.”
The “Tidal Market,” as the farmers market is called, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays through Sept. 15 in the town’s new park, located at 1394 Frederica Road.
Beside being a tourist attraction for people traveling to and from the beach or to the DE Turf complex, Mayor Glanden said the farmers market is providing a service to Frederica residents.
“Right now, with the market being in town here, it makes it easier on some of the people to get fresh vegetables,” he said, noting the ice cream truck is a “big hit” at the market as well.
He said residents with limited transportation options are able to walk to the market for fresh produce.
“This is our first year and there’s a lot that we’re learning,” Mayor Glanden said.
He credited Frederica resident Anita Hart for her work to develop the market and for overseeing its operation.
“She’s doing an excellent job,” he said. “She’s down there every weekend, just about.”
The town also is celebrating the completion of phase one of its first public park, appropriately named Frederica Town Park. Mayor Glanden said the process of developing a park began about a year ago when the town spent $30,000 to buy vacant property on the former Brownsfield site.
“The park was something we wanted for a while,” Mayor Glanden said. “A lot of people thought about it and thought it would be a good thing to have.”
The first step in developing the park, Mayor Glanden said, was to clean out all of the existing debris there from its former owners. That took a few months to accomplish, but by June 30, 2020, about 90% of the trash was removed, he said.
“When it got all cleared off, that lot was a lot bigger than it ever looked when it had the junkyard, gas station and house there,” Mayor Glanden said. “There was a lot more ground to it than what we thought.”
Mayor Glanden credited state Rep. Charles S. Postles Jr., for helping fund the cleanup efforts.
“He’s been very instrumental,” Mayor Glanden said.
Phase one, Mayor Glanden said, saw the cleanup of the property and the installation of a playground at the cost of about $100,000. Mayor Glanden said the state took care of half of that bill and the town the other half.
Kent County Levy Court has contributed a $35,000 to the park, Mayor Glanden said — $20,000 for the first phase of the park and $15,000 in the second phase, which is set to begin next year.
In phase two, Mayor Glanden said he would like to see a bandstand installed by the senior center and a gazebo. He’d also like to see picnic tables, benches and more trash cans.
Mayor Glanden said up next for the park is the installation of a walkway around the perimeter that is being funded by Rep. Postles. That project will be followed by the installation of lights, paid for by the town.
Kent County Levy Court has also provided support for the farmers market by awarding it a $619 promotional grant to be used toward radio advertisements and other forms of marketing.
Mayor Glanden said the town plans to host a dedication ceremony for the park in October.
He said town staff are putting together a scrapbook to show just how far the park has come since the land was purchased last year.
“We got rid of, for lack of better terminology, a major eyesore,” Mayor Glanden said. “It’s come a long way.”
Mayor Glanden said the park has been open for about the last month and he has seen good use from town residents. He said he takes his great-grandson over to the park often.
“He has a blast on the slides,” he said. “The park is looking better and better as we go.”
Mayor Glanden said he’s seen people with out-of-state license plates stopping in the park for picnics as well.
He said he’s looking forward to more development in the park and maybe adding additional parks to the town, depending on funding.
“We’re a small town. We’re working on everything we can do to try and help the kids a little bit,” Mayor Glanden said.
“We’re not done. We’ve still got a couple more phases we’re going through and we have stuff we’re planning for next year. Hopefully we can find more money to do more. Like I said, the town’s not overly loaded with money, but we try to put aside some for these projects.”