TOWNSEND, Del. — At a bill signing ceremony held at the Blackbird State Forest’s Meadow Tract, Governor Carney signed Senate Bill 328, renaming the Blackbird State Forest’s Meadows Tract the “Bruce C. Ennis Tract” in honor of Senator Bruce C. Ennis. The Ennis Tract covers 456 acres with open meadows, forested trails, and three ponds, and includes one of Delaware’s two forest education centers. This tract of state forestland is part of an ecologically critical zone connecting the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. The Blackbird State Forest is managed by the Department of Agriculture and is a popular destination for hiking, horseback riding, nature watching, camping, and hunting.
“There are a lot of people that work hard to make our state a better place and Senator Bruce Ennis continues to do so in such a humble way,” said Governor John Carney. “On behalf of the people of this district and the people of our state, for a great tribute to a man who has given so much to our state. What a way to celebrate the service of Senator Ennis, by renaming this beautiful meadow and piece of property in his honor.”
About 50 people were in attendance for the bill-signing event, including Senator Ennis’ family, and members of the General Assembly and the Governor’s cabinet. The renaming of the Meadows Tract in honor of Senator Ennis reflects Delaware’s appreciation for Senator Ennis’ legacy, who has served 40 years in both legislature and public safety. Senator Ennis will be retiring in November.
Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long shared that “Today we stand in a beautiful, peaceful location celebrating a man who really fought to make Delaware a safe, wonderful place to live.” She added that Senator Ennis is “truly a statesman” and has always been an avid supporter of “open space, natural resources and agriculture.”
Delaware Forest Service educator Ashley Melvin and Senator Ennis’s granddaughter had the honor of unveiling the new tract sign that will be placed on Blackbird Station Road at the entrance to Ennis Tract.
Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse stated, “Senator Ennis has worked tirelessly to improve everyone’s quality of life. He’s made sure that we have natural resources protected and preserved for future generations. This means a lot to me personally, and a lot to the Department. I can think of no better tribute to a man who has done so much for his state.”
Blackbird State Forest, managed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, located on the border of New Castle and Kent Counties, is Delaware’s northernmost state forest. It has ten tracts totaling over 6,000 acres and contains of mixture of oaks, yellow-poplar, maple, gums, and hickories.
–Sophia Curran, Delaware Forest Service