Field Trip: Bethany Beach Nature Center
We visited the Bethany Beach Nature Center while on vacation in Delaware last week. The park reminded me a lot of Huntley Meadows (located just south of Del Ray) with its wide variety of native plants and a boardwalk which takes you through the woods to an open marsh observation deck. It’s worth a visit if you are in the Bethany area this summer.
The main nature center is an historic house built in 1902 which was moved from its downtown Bethany location in 1999 to its current more inland location after being donated to the town. It’s one of five houses built by John Addy, one of Bethany’s original settlers. Another of the five houses is a famous Bethany Beach landmark, the oceanfront B&B called the Addy Sea.
It was the 4th of July when we visited so the building was closed, but that didn’t stop us from checking out the three gardens on the property — a rain garden, a vegetable garden and a native plant demonstration garden.
We didn’t see any Monarch caterpillars on the milkweed, but hope some lay their eggs here this summer.
There were a few DIY accents in the gardens as well — a hand-painted rain barrel and seashell and glass pebble stepping stones.
From the gardens, a trail took us through a wooded area, past a pond and to an observation deck in the marsh.
Signs along the way noted local wildlife to watch out for such as the majestic osprey. We saw several nests in the distance, but no birds that day.
The observation deck was a favorite stop for the kids.
We’ll be back on our next visit to check out the indoor nature center and maybe participate in one of their Saturday morning activities. For more information about the center and the Inland Bays conservation efforts, visit their website.