South Wilmington Wetlands Park

Construction has begun on a new $25 million wetlands park that will help control flooding in South Wilmington and create a recreational space for area residents.

About the South Wilmington Wetlands Park

The purpose of the new 20-acre South Wilmington Wetlands Park is to create a stormwater management facility, restore and enhance existing wetlands, and create a new park for the community. This site was identified by the Southbridge community as an ideal location for a wetlands park in 2006. Since then, the City of Wilmington has been working with other agencies, nonprofits, and the Southbridge community to develop a park that incorporates community feedback to address ongoing issues of flooding and contamination.

The Park will also increase local walkability and recreational opportunities. The site's most prominent design feature is a wide, ADA accessible boardwalk/on-grade pathway through the heart of the park. This pathway will allow residents and visitors to experience the full beauty of the park while also connecting the Southbridge community to nearby jobs and retail shopping.

Project Funding

Estimated Total Cost of Project: $25 million

Funding Provided by:

City Bond Funds: $21 million

NOAA/National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Grant: $3 million

State and Federal Brownfield Funding: $1 million

Nature Conservancy Grant: $25,000

Project Status

Construction on Phase I of the South Wilmington Wetlands Park began on June 3, 2019. So far, 49,000 cubic yards of soil has been removed from the site, and wetland channels have been shaped. Watch the video below to see the construction crew in action.

How Will the Park Reduce Flooding?

The primary goal of the South Wilmington Wetland Park is to reduce flooding in the Southbridge neighborhood. In addition to building the Wetland Park, the City will be separating 36 acres of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipes into stormwater and sewer pipes. When it rains, water will flow through the new stormwater pipes and into the restored wetlands, where it will be held and gradually released into the Christina River. The sewer pipes will go directly to the City’s wastewater treatment plant. The separation of the CSO in conjunction with the Wetland will directly benefit over 1,000 residents of Wilmington's Historic Southbridge Neighborhood by reducing flooding frequency in addition to increasing available storm capacity.

Watch the video below for an illustration of how the project will reduce flooding in Southbridge.