Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) celebrated the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee's approval of his legislation to authorize the creation of Delaware's first national park. The First State National Historical Park Act of 2013 (S. 347), cosponsored by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
"The First State may be small, but it has had a tremendous role in the history of our country," said Sen. Carper. "For over a decade, I have been working with federal officials, state officials, community leaders and activists in the hopes that one day we could tell Delaware's unique story through a national park. Today, I'm grateful that the members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including my colleague and this bill's cosponsor Chris Coons, showed their support for this effort. I'm pursuing every possible avenue to make Delaware's national park a reality, and today's action is an important step forward. This national park would help boost Delaware's economy, preserve our natural wonders and historical heritage for future generations, and finally include every state in our country's storied national park system. I hope we'll take up this bill soon in the Senate, and I look forward to the day when visitors from across the world will visit Delaware to hear our important story."
Currently, the first state to sign the Constitution, the first state in the union, is the last state to have a national park. If the First State National Historical Park Act of 2013 is adopted, that would change. This legislation would create a park celebrating early American Dutch, Swedish and English Settlements located throughout Delaware and into Pennsylvania and Delaware's role in the events leading up to the founding of our nation. The park would include sites and attractions in each of Delaware's three counties. The legislation also allows the Park Service to work with other historically significant sites that are not included in the national park, but can be included in the national park materials, tours and other related items.