The Petersen Urban Wildlife Refuge

View from the Dupont Environmental Education Center bridge (photo courtesy of Mother of all Trips)

1400 Delmarva Lane
Wilmington, DE

The Russell W. Petersen Urban Wildlife Refuge is 212 acres of protected urban wetland along the Christina River just outside downtown Wilmington. Reviewer Mara of The Mother of All Trips writes, “The place is a fascinating intersection of the industrial and the natural. Freight trains thunder over a sculptural bridge that spans the river. To the north, the banks and churches of Wilmington stretch skyward. Not too far in the distance traffic hums by, the murmur of cars and trucks punctuated by the cries of Canada geese landing in the marsh. On the day we were there, fox footprints dotted the snow. A small botanical garden, which is beautifully landscaped and in warmer weather has series of stone-line paths and waterfalls, is a delightful place to play.” Read her entire article on the refuge.

Be sure to check out the DuPont Environmental Education Center, located by the Riverwalk, to learn more about the wildlife you might encounter. Educational programs for children are run from this building as well; check the board for the daily schedule.

Date last visited: February 2010

Distance off the interstate: Just a couple minutes off I-95.

Hours and Admission Prices: Free admission. Hours are: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday–Friday (Closed Mondays)


Directions: Free parking is available on site and in several Riverfront parking lots located at the end of Justison Street, south of Frawley Stadium. You can also arrive via the Riverwalk: The DuPont Environmental Education Center (within the refuge) is located at the south end of the Riverwalk, which now extends beyond the Shipyard Shops, through a botanical garden to a new “flyover” bridge that arches above the railroad tracks and slopes gently down to the building’s third-story entrance. The refuge is accessible via the Riverwalk from dawn to dusk.

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