This week in southern Delaware: Stories on development, and a look at upcoming events

This week in southern Delaware: Stories on development, and a look at upcoming events
The Woodland ferry makes a crossing on the Nanticoke River west of Seaford. An article this week explored the river and its natural beauty. 

If there's one ongoing story in southern Delaware, it's growth and development, and our stories over the past week reflect that theme.

It's a topic that can often be controversial, but there was little dismay over one piece of news we reported last Friday, the plans to restart Amity Coffee in Greenwood by December. (Disclosure: This reporter is a longtime fan of Amity and as such may not be a reliable source for unbiased reporting on the matter. In fact, some of the work to launch this publication happened at a table in the coffee shop.)

Here's that article if you missed it.

The rebirth of Amity Coffee Roasters
The owners of Amity Coffee Roasters in Greenwood want their fans to know they aren’t going anywhere. That’s an important clarification, because right now on Greenwood’s main street there is no Amity Coffee. There is Amity Past — the memory of the popular shop that opened in 2016

Another piece of development news is the plan for a railroad hub and industrial park in Harrington. It's an intriguing concept, since some might think of rail as a part of Delaware's past, but not particularly relevant for the future. Here's the vision for that project.

Can Harrington make itself a railroad hub?
To grow their economy, Harrington leaders are looking to the railroad. And yes, they’re aware it’s not 1860. Many small towns on Delmarva were built along railroads. With the fading of passenger rail and advent of trucking, rail lost some of its clout, but many tons of freight

A sort of reverse development story was the one we ran from the Bay Journal News Service about the experience of paddling on the Nanticoke River, which remains one of the least developed waterways in the region according to numbers cited in the article. Here's a glimpse of what you can find if you venture off the beaten track in western Sussex.

Paddling the Nanticoke River: A view the tourists skip
By Ashley Stimpson, Bay Journal News Service The ospreys were the first to welcome us to the Nanticoke River. As we piloted our kayaks out of the still water of the Seaford, DE, marina, their tea-kettle whistles filled the air, bouncing off the fiberglass and gleaming aluminum of the sailboats

A more sensitive topic was the news of a building almost ready for occupancy in Seaford: the site of a new Planned Parenthood clinic. We took a look at why some people are excited to see this happen, and why others are appalled.

Planned Parenthood opens a new clinic in Seaford, to cheers and outrage
On Wednesday, Planned Parenthood confirmed it is opening a new clinic in Seaford, although that was a very poorly kept secret. Abortion opponents have been protesting the new clinic for months, piecing together evidence of the plans from online job postings and Sussex County building permits. The cl…

And with regard to another new business in the area, thanks to all of you who have reached out to offer encouragement and support for the Delaware Independent's coverage of southern Delaware.  

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In other news:

If you don’t like litter, here’s something you can do about it. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control is asking for volunteers to help in the annual Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 11. Part of the state’s effort is also to encourage people to clean up all month starting Sept. 1. For the Sept. 11 coordinated cleanup, volunteers need to preregister by Tuesday, Aug. 31. There are limits to the number of volunteers, and DNREC is not accepting walkups on the day of the cleanup. The agency says site captains with supplies will be onsite to sign in volunteers and provide trash bags and directions. There will be gloves available on request, but volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring their own.

While we’re on the topic of the environment, DNREC also says it’s fine to feed birds again and put out bird baths. They had asked state residents to stop doing that in June because of reports of mysteriously sick and dying songbirds in multiple states, including Delaware. Not entirely reassuringly, authorities still don’t know what was making the birds get eye swelling, have discharge around the eyes, or fly erratically or stumble before dying. Starlings, blue jays, cardinals and robins seemed to be the most affected, DNREC said. But investigators have ruled out some worrying options like salmonella, avian influenza and other viruses and said there are no reports of health issues in humans, livestock or poultry. If you do see birds with symptoms, though, you can call Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research at 302-737-9543. If the bird has died, you can call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-735-3600.

If you like to gawk at Amish people AND ride bike, here’s an event you may be interested in. Bike Delaware’s Amish Country Bike Tour is back this year on Sept. 18, and online registration closes Sept. 12. Routes begin and end on Legislative Mall in Dover and are 15, 25, 50, 62 or 100 miles through what the organization calls “peaceful, flat(!), low-traffic Amish countryside.” Cyclists can make rest stops at places like Harvest Ridge Winery, Painted Stave Distillery, Felton Fire Hall and Emanuel AME Church), depending on distance, and then end up at Amish Schoolhouse for locally-baked pie. Afterward there are music and vendors; find out more here.

Citizens for Greenwood has announced it is holding a town yard sale in partnership with the Greenwood Library’s Health and Safety Day. The yard sale part will be from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. To get your sale listed on a map, email by Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. Bridgeville is also holding its townwide yard sale that day. The library's free health and safety event runs from 9 to noon. Kids can take part in a bike rodeo, check out fire trucks and police cars and get their faces painted. The event also includes, among other things, free hot dogs, car seat safety checks, giveaways, CPR demonstrations, and dental screenings (please preregister for those through the library). For more information or to make an appointment for a dental screening, call 302-855-1242.

A number of Greenwood-area businesses get a shout-out in this video produced by Sussex County Delaware Economic Development, with some interesting history shared by locals. There’s also some fun drone footage of the area.

The Friends of Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge are again hosting their nature photography contest, after it was canceled last year because of COVID. The contest is open to photographers of all ages, and photos can be from outside the refuge. There are prizes for top winners. A caveat: All of you who have been trying to enter photos of cows, stop it. The group said in its press release that photos must be of native species, i.e. not introduced by humans. “Ineligible subjects include cultivated plants and flowers and domestic animals like dogs and cows.” The refuge lies in the marshy area between Lewes and Slaughter Beach and if readers are part of local Facebook groups like Delaware Nature Lovers they know that the photography from this area can be stunning. You can find the full contest rules at