Donation from the family of Nancy Smoot will expand DWL's conservation of the Great Cypress Swamp near Frankford.

The nonprofit group Delaware Wild Lands recently announced its newest land acquisition: a donation of 160 acres of forest land in Sussex County from the family of Nancy Smoot. This parcel will expand DWL’s conservation of the Great Cypress Swamp near Frankford.

Delaware Wild Lands owns 10,600 contiguous acres of what remains of the Great Cypress Swamp – the Delmarva Peninsula’s largest forest and largest freshwater wetland. Reminiscent of the Deep South, the Great Cypress Swamp once covered nearly 60,000 acres.

The Smoot property is adjacent to land already owned by DWL and will be incorporated into DWL’s large-scale habitat restoration work.

DWL expressed gratitude to Everett Moore, of Moore & Rutt, for his exceptional legal service, and to Dan Sander, the property manager and local real estate agent, for their help ensuring the permanent protection of this beautiful property.

DWL’s forest management has earned rigorous certification from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Since 2011, DWL has planted 194,000 native trees in the Great Cypress Swamp.

As the health of the swamp improves, sightings of river otter, waterfowl, amphibians, migratory birds, and eagles are now common. Waters filtered by the swamp support two major watersheds: the Delaware Inland Bays to the east and the Chesapeake Bay to the west.

Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival planned

Delaware Wild Lands will host a music festival to highlight the amazing swamp on Saturday, May 19.

The third annual fundraiser will include five bands, with headliner Johnny Staats & the Delivery Boys from West Virginia. Staats has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Evening News, and CNN, and in The New York Times and People magazine.

The festival will also feature local beers and wines, food trucks, craft vendors, lawn games, and free bus tours of the Great Cypress Swamp.

For tickets or more information, see the website

The Great Cypress Swamp is an amazing place, and we're excited that just keeps getting better.