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The Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is back!

After a three-year break, the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is returning to the Nanticoke River on the first Saturday in August!

Will you build a sleek beauty, an artistic wonder, or something in-between? Start collecting cardboard boxes and brainstorming your boat design for this year’s Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta! Get a team together or go solo, have a friendly competition between family, friends, businesses or groups. This is a great team building activity that results in a day of summer fun, good food and competition.

The regatta will be held on Saturday, Aug. 5th, once again at the Nanticoke River Public Marine Park in Blades, Sign in and Registration will begin at 11 a.m., with judging of boats’ appearances at noon, and races starting at 12:30 p.m. (Rain date is Sunday, Aug. 6th). This year we welcome the Delmarva Model Boat Club, who will be demonstrating their battery-powered remote-controlled boats in the marina before the races begin.

Plenty of FOOD

There is no charge to watch this great event and to cheer on the competitors, and simply have fun. Come hungry, as we will be grilling all-beef hot dogs and Black Angus Burgers. This is Reclaim Our River - Nanticoke Series’ only fundraiser and any proceeds go towards projects/supplies to protect/preserve our beautiful Nanticoke River watershed.

Cardboard boats of any size, shape, or design may be entered in the regatta, but they must be made of used cardboard, and they should be painted with multiple coats of latex house paint. Decorations may be removed after appearance judging, prior to the race start. Participants who pre-register their boats by Saturday, July 29, will receive special early-bird pricing of $20 per boat. After that date, registration will increase to $30. Participants can also register the day of the event.

The race course is about 100 yards for adults and about half that for children. First place trophies will be awarded for winners of races in five categories: Individuals, Families, Youth (12 and under), Teens (13 -18), and Organizations & Businesses.

In addition to timed races, trophies are given for “Pride of the Fleet,” “Most Whimsical” and “Team Spirit”. Also, spectators get to vote for “People’s Choice”, while a special “Titanic Award” will be given for the Most Spectacular Sinking! After all regular races are completed, crews are welcome to challenge other crews to race one-on-one for bragging rights (for a nominal $5 fee/crew).

The 2023 Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta is presented by the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, the Town of Blades, and Gallery 107. During the event, attendees can learn about the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance’s Reclaim Our River (ROR) partnership and how to help protect Delaware’s waterways.

The ROR-Nanticoke Series is devoted to bringing events, workshops, and recreational activities to the Nanticoke Watershed. The series offers participants fun opportunities to connect with Delaware’s waterways and provides important information on water quality that can help in protecting our precious waterways. The Delaware Nature Society, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and the DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances will have table displays as well.

Join our team as a sponsor for this event, with proceeds going toward event costs, projects that improve water quality, and water quality education. Sponsorships begin at $50.

For more information, rules for construction and to register, please visit:



The next time you’re walking the trails at Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, take notice of our new Tree ID Signs. You’ll find them along most of our trails, fastened to a stake next to trees that we feel represent their species.

Installing a new Tree ID Sign

Tree ID, where two trails diverge into the woods... (Sorry, Robert Frost)

For a few years now, we've used small tree-shaped signs with just numbers on them that coincide with

descriptions of the trees in a six-page pamphlet, available in the Visitors Center.

The new bright-green signs have the same number system, but they also include the tree’s COMMON NAME (in all capitals) and scientific name (in italics). The decals were custom-made for us by K&R Graphics & Signs in Woodside, and totally funded by private donations, including Fifer Orchards in Wyoming.

The shape of the sign tells you if the tree is considered an evergreen conifer (cone bearing) like #2 Loblolly Pine, below, or is deciduous (sheds it's leaves annually), like #38 Yellow Poplar.

But remember, when you’re talking about trees, there’s an exception to everything. For instance, Bald Cypress trees are cone bearing, yet they shed their needles in the fall, hence the name “bald” cypress. On the other hand, American Holly is listed as deciduous, yet they keep their leaves all year. So that makes them broad-leaved evergreens. Confused yet?

The Tree ID Pamphlet is also getting a bit of a makeover. If you pick up an old one before we finish editing, the tree information isn't any different, but a few of the numbers have changed.

So stop by the Visitor's Center and pickup a guide before you walk the trails, or scan the QR code on our outdoor bulletin board.

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