Not for Profit: CrossFit Challenge raises $9,300; Land donations honored


CrossFit Dover’s inaugural CrossFit 5k Run/Walk and Fitness Challenge held on May 10 raised $9,300 for The Next Generation – Southern Delaware (Next Gen South), which is raising money to support grants for programs providing child mental health services.

“We are so thankful that CrossFit Dover selected Next Gen South as the beneficiary of this event,” said Next Gen South President Kim Willson. “We are thrilled not only with the large turnout and success of the race, but also with the amount of money raised by this event, which will in turn benefit the children of Kent and Sussex Counties.”

More than 130 runners participated in the event. 5K winners.

CrossFit Dover is a group training environment using functional movements performed at moderate to high intensity.

Southern Delaware (Next Gen South) is a philanthropic organization of young professionals living and working in Kent and Sussex Counties. The organization leverages the resources of the Delaware Community Foundation, but has its own structure, fund raising projects and grant making process. To learn more about Next Gen South, visit

3 wildlife areas dedicated

The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife recently dedicated three state-owned and managed wildlife area tracts in honor of the families who previously owned the land and in recognition of the conservation, recreational and educational opportunities these acquisitions provide.

“A crucial part of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s mission is to conserve lands and waters that provide habitat for the fish, wildlife and plant species that make Delaware unique,” said David Saveikis, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife director. “By partnering with landowners who are committed to preserving their properties for the future like the Carey, Matarese and Campanelli families, we can continue to add to Delaware’s public lands, which not only support our wildlife but also enrich our lives and those of our children and grandchildren by providing public hunting, fishing, nature study and educational access.”

Carey Point Tract, Assawoman Wildlife Area, Sussex County

The Carey family donated the 22-acre tract to the Division of Fish and Wildlife at the end of last year to serve as a wildlife sanctuary, incorporated into the Assawoman Wildlife Area in Sussex County’s Inland Bays region. It adjoins the Swann Keys community, which is on land once owned and used by the Carey family for grazing cattle.

The property is located about two miles west of Fenwick Island within the Little Assawoman Watershed, fronting Dirickson Creek. Comprised of tidal emergent wetlands, the tract provides salt-marsh habitat for a variety of species including waterfowl, herons, shorebirds, shellfish and fish while purifying water and protecting Swann Keys from tidal flooding.

Matarese Tract, Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, Kent County

The 262-acre Matarese Tract was purchased by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in 1991 using Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds. The tract was incorporated into the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area east of Smyrna. The Matarese family also donated a conservation easement on 12 additional acres. A complex of buildings on the acquired property fronting Route 9 including the Mallard Lodge became the home of the Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC).

AREC annually hosts thousands of visitors including science teachers for training, learn-to-fish programs in its three catch-and-release ponds, and schoolchildren on field trips from around the state.

“It was truly an honor for my family to attend the dedication of the Matarese Tract at Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, said Philomena Matarese. “To know that the property is being used to benefit so many is very gratifying.” The Woodland Beach Wildlife Area encompasses 6,320 acres, including a 60-acre waterfowl refuge, a popular fishing pier in the town of Woodland Beach, and a 1.5-mile hiking and nature trail, drawing anglers, crabbers, hunters, hikers, birdwatchers, photographers and beachcombers.

The Julia Anne Campanelli Tract, Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area, New Castle County

The 161-acre Campanelli Tract was purchased in 2007 from the Campanelli family using Delaware Open Space funds. The tract was incorporated into the Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area east of Townsend, one of the newest additions to the roster of state wildlife areas.

The Blackbird Hundred property is within the Smyrna River Watershed as part of the larger Delaware Bay Watershed and the Delaware Bayshore. The mostly-wooded tract fronts Gardner Road and includes old growth mixed hardwood habitat rich with Tuliptree, along with seasonal ponds and freshwater wetlands. Also running through the property are two tributaries of the Sawmill Branch, which flows into the Smyrna River. A variety of wildlife and rare plants have been documented on the tract, which provides public hunting, birdwatching and other outdoor opportunities.

Joseph Campanelli Sr. and John Campanelli Jr., along with their parents, Mary Jane and John Campanelli Sr., attended the dedication of the tract to their disabled sister, Julia Anne Campanelli, who lives at the Mary Campbell Center in north Wilmington. The Campanellis are developers, hunters and conservationists.

who have long enjoyed the Blackbird area for its good hunting and beautiful natural areas.

“We bought the property for hunting and hunted on it for about 20 years,” said Joseph Campanelli Sr., noting they are now continuing their hunting tradition on a property downstate. “A lot of the Blackbird property is seasonal wetlands with good hunting, and it’s surrounded by similar property, so we decided its best use would be to preserve it as a natural area.”

The 835-acre Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area comprises a mix of forest and former agricultural lands under restoration, coastal plain ponds and wooded wetlands, including a 25-acre wetland enhancement project. Located near the bustling Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area, the reserve invites hiking, wildlife and birdwatching, photography, and small game, turkey and archery-only deer hunting by permit in season.

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