May-June 8th District Update
Updated: May 3
Dear 8th District Constituents, Here's an update on what's happening in the 8th District this Spring and early Summer.
As always, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have a question or concern. I'm here to help. Sincerely,
Nathan Field 8th District City Councilman Cell: 302-530-6626 Email: Nrfield@wilmingtonde.gov Instagram/Facebook: FieldDistrict8 For additional updates on neighborhood news in between newsletters, follow @FieldDistrict8 on Facebook or Instagram.
4 upcoming Legislative Issues of interest to the 8th District First, I am introducing a new Ordinance for consideration that would standardize the hours that liquor stores can remain open on Sundays. It will be discussed at a City Council committee hearing on May 11th. Follow it here.
Second, a proposed ordinance to increase Fees for city services will be discussed in a city council committee on May 8th. Follow it here. Also on May 8th a proposed ordinance will be discussed to lower the cost of parking tickets from $40 to $30. Finally, I hear the concerns of condominium owners about a city policy to not collect trash from their buildings. There are more than 1,100 condo owners in the 8th District alone. They pay City taxes like all other homeowners. Because of that, myself along with other council members believe that they should either receive garbage collection, get a tax credit covering the cost of private trash collection, or some other consideration. I am discussing options with the City. If you have opinions on any of these issues, please share them with me as your city council representative.
Update on beautification and neighborhood building initiatives
Addressing Mill Road / The Falls Pedestrian Safety
By the end of 2023 there will be over 700 new residents at The Falls Complex on Mill Road (in early 2021, there were ZERO). That means 600 or more new vehicles with only one way in and out along a narrow Mill Road that was built in 1840. That road is built into a hill side with limited opportunity for sidewalks. That's not sustainable from a pedestrian safety perspective.
Restoring the path in Brandywine Park between the Swinging bridge in Brandywine Park and 2 Mill Road, would help address the safety issue for people on foot:
I am hoping that the long-planned Mill Road connector can be completed this spring/summer. The money has been raised for a basic reopening of the trail. This will add a new perk for city residents and increase Wilmington's attractiveness, while improving safety for pedestrians by creating alternative ways in and out of the Falls complex.
Honoring the Sacrifice of City Residents - May 30th
Every year on May 30th since 1871, the City has held a parade and ceremony to honor local residents killed fighting for their country at the beautiful Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Delaware Avenue.
This year the Parade Planning Committee commissioned a commemorative 16x20 painting to promote this Wilmington tradition:
A complimentary copy is available for anyone who wants to help promote this Wilmington landmark by hanging it prominently in their office, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, school or residence. See bottom of page for more details. .......
Thanks to funds raised by former State Rep. Gerald Brady, "decorative uplighting" is being installed, to illuminate the pillar and US flag at night. This will add stature to the monument and should be finished by Memorial Day.
Spring Beautification Project on 14th St
The retaining wall on 14th St in between the ACME and Kid Shelleen's has been an eye sore for many years. To transform it into an attractive neighborhood asset, Trolley Square resident Rachel van Wylen will be painting a pond with birds, flowers and Lilli pads.
Equally important, several neighbors on 14th St will be helping to ensure ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the surrounding area.
Here's the progress as of Sunday April 30th:
New Neighborhood Initiative: History Happy Hour Series To promote greater appreciation of our neighborhood's interesting history, I'm happy to announce a series of social Happy Hour History talks, all in the back room of Catherine Rooney's.
Wednesday May 17th - 6pm to 7:30 Brewing History of Wilmington's 8th Ward".
John Medkeff Jr will kick off the series by giving a talk covering Hartmann & Fehrenbach, Schaefer's brewery, Christian Krauch's brewery at Rosendale Park, a very short-lived brewery on the edge of the ward, and one that never came to fruition at 13th & Union. Free and no reservations required. On Wednesday June 14th, also at Rooney's backroom, Bill Knightly will present his fascinating new book on the British Occupation of Wilmington During the Revolutionary War. Nature’s Palette: A DelArt District 8 Mural Project
I'm working with the Delaware Art Museum on a fun project to take place in mid to late May.
To further promote Wilmington as the Art and Cultural center of Delaware, vinyl murals of some of the Museum's best paintings will be placed on several buildings in and around the 8th District. Special Thanks to Two Neighborhood Residents
I want to especially recognize two of our neighbors for the fantastic work they did in taking the initiative to plan two recent events in the 8th District.
Kaleigh Lynch organized the first annual Trolley Square 5k on April 29th, attracting an incredible 250 participants in Year One. That's a huge number for a first time race. Rossana Arteaga-Lopenza was the driving force behind a concert of Venezuelan Music, bringing musicians from all over the country to the Delaware Art Museum last Saturday. Organizing big events is very hard and stressful. Thanks very much for helping build up the neighborhood social and cultural scene.
Fun Upcoming 8th District Events
Two Art receptions on Friday Night May 5th
Pickleball Tournament in Brandywine Park
Film Opening: Mr. Rogers and Me
May 6th at Theater N. 8th District resident Benjamin Wagner knew Mr. Rogers and will debut his new film at Theater N downtown. Read details here.
Art Museum Summer Happy Hour Series Returns
Every Thursday night 5pm to 7:30 May 25th through September. 2023 Wilmington Flower Market A 123 year old city tradition returns to Rockford Park Thursday May 11th through Saturday May 13th. Read more details about the events here.
Breweries of the Old Eight Ward - May 17th
Wednesday May 17th from 6pm to 7:30 in the back room of Catherine Rooney's. Local historian John Medkeff Jr will give a fun talk on his research into the many breweries that used to exist in what is today the 8th District. Free and no reservations required. And don't forgot Bill Knightly's book signing on Wednesday June 14th.
Wilmington Grand Prix - May 20th
This is an extremely fun event is to watch in person. See here for all the details.
Updates on Ongoing Projects & Issues
Bancroft Bridge to Open in April 2025 On March 28th, the State of Delaware gave a presentation on the way forward. A new prefabricated bridge will be installed. However, due to permitting issues and wildlife restrictions that prevent construction between the months of April through July, work will begin in August 2024, leading to a reopening in August 2025.
See the full presentation with more details here.
Overly Bright Lights in Wawaset Park and other neighborhoods
I have spoken directly with the Mayor to convey the seriousness of this concern. The City has expressed directly to the highest levels of Delmarva that lights in Wawaset Park should look like "the ones on Kentmere Parkway" and that is what is being arranged.
Latest on Gibraltar? There is nothing new to report since my last newsletter. I continue to follow it closely and will immediately inform neighbors if there is something new. What is the future of Park Drive? Closed since the beginning of the I95 viaduct construction began, the City is considering 3 options as the I95 work ends: To leave it closed as it is now to vehicles, to open it back up exactly as it was before, or some kind of combination of both. Do you have an opinion?
To obtain a commemorative poster to help promote the Parade, please email me at Nrfield@wilmingtonde.gov to coordinate.
For updates on neighborhood news in between newsletters, follow @FieldforDistrict8 on Facebook or Instagram.