Places We Protect

A river curves around a lush green marsh abundant in tall green grass.
Milford Neck Preserve View of the marsh at the preserve along the Delaware Bay. © John Hinkson / TNC

Thanks to your help, we have protected more than 30,000 critical acres across Delaware since 1990.

In addition to providing healthy and resilient habitats for a wide variety of wildlife, The Nature Conservancy's preserves in Delaware are the perfect destinations to enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to spot migratory birds, walk through coastal hardwood forests, or take your kayak along the Broadkill River, one of our public preserves has you covered!

Public Preserves

A metal floating dock sits on a river surrounded by lush green trees.
Broadkill River Floating dock at TNC’s Edward H. McCabe Preserve. © TNC

Milton, DE

Edward H. McCabe Preserve

The Edward H. McCabe Preserve offers opportunities to observe a wide range of Delaware's ecosystems, including tidal marshes, upland forests and Atlantic white cedar swamps. With several miles of hiking trails, a public boat launch and wildlife sightings, this preserve is well worth the visit. Explore McCabe Preserve.

Several white downturned flowers hang off of a branch with green leaves.
Highbush Blueberry Highbush blueberry at Ponders Tract in Delaware. © John Hinkson

Milton, DE

Ponders Tract at Pemberton Forest

The Ponders Tract trail system is a publicly accessible natural area within our Pemberton Forest Preserve. Ponders Tract features over nine miles of trails, perfect for trail running and walking, as well as the site of a coastal hardwood forest restoration area. Explore Ponders Tract.

Become a Volunteer Monitorer

You can help us protect nature!

  • Factsheet explaining how to use the PA/DE preserve monitoring app. Instructions are shown in text and graphics. A QR code in the upper right corner allows users to download the app.

    Preserve Monitoring

    We need volunteers to help us monitor our public preserves. Monitors can use an app to log information and keep us informed of new issues like downed trees across the trails or other maintenance needs. Learn more by downloading the form.


Other Preserves

  • Flat, open water is visible in the distance across a wide marsh. The foreground is dominated by tall green grasses.

    Bullseye-Ferry Landing Preserve

    Sitting along the Indian River in southeastern Sussex County, Bullseye-Ferry Landing is a mosaic of diverse living communities. Learn More About Bullseye Ferry Landing Preserve

  • Close up view of a pink flower with multiple small blossoms. A yellow butterfly with brown spots rests on one blossom gathering nectar.

    Middleford North Preserve

    Middleford North is located just upstream from Seaford, where the main stem of the Nanticoke River meanders through riparian forest and lush freshwater wetlands. Learn More About Middleford North Preserve

  • Sunset over the ocean. The sun hangs suspended just above the water, partially obscured by a large white cloud. Clumps of grasses line the beach in the foreground.

    Milford Neck Preserve

    With miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes, vast tidal marshlands, swamp and upland forests and a patchwork of agricultural lands, the Milford Neck offers natural beauty and biological diversity. Learn More About Milford Neck Preserve

  • A view from the forest floor toward to sky of several tall pine trees against a bright blue sky.

    Pemberton Forest Preserve

    Pemberton Forest provides unbroken forest needed by migrating birds and wide-ranging species. The 908-acre Ponders Tract is open to the public, while the Pemberton Tract is not. Learn More About Pemberton Forest Preserve

  • Pools of water in a low, boggy swamp area. Ferns sprout up at the edge of the pools. Fallen leaves float in the water.

    Sowbridge Branch Preserve

    This 1.12 acre parcel was donated by the Greenly family in 1990 to become TNC's first preserve in Delaware. The site is dominated by Atlantic white cedar swamplands and bog like habitats.

Additional Places We've Helped Protect

Auburn Valley State Park Expansion

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Division of Parks & Recreation announced in April 2019 that it acquired 86 acres of land in Yorklyn to expand Auburn Valley State Park. The preservation of the two parcels, each about 43 acres in size, will enable future expansion of recreational activities at the 452-acre park. The land acquisition by DNREC will also benefit the Red Clay Creek watershed by protecting important headwaters and lands along a tributary to the creek. Funding for the purchase was provided by from the State of Delaware’s Open Space Program, The Nature Conservancy, the Reynolds Cooch family and Mt. Cuba Center.

Oversee Farm

Now part of Auburn Valley State Park, Oversee Farm is a 121-acre property near Yorklyn, DE. In 2003, the State purchased a conservation easement on the Oversee Farm using Department of Transportation (DOT) scenic easement funds and Open Space funds. At the same time, TNC purchased the underlying fee interest in the property. In December 2006, the Division of Parks and Recreation assumed ownership of the property after acquiring the fee interest from TNC. The property now contains paved trails among open fields and a historic farmhouse and barn.

Port Mahon

In eastern Kent County along the Delaware Bay, tidal saltmarshes and mudflats contained within the 341-acre Port Mahon Preserve provide a sanctuary for numerous species of geese, duck, fish and amphibians. This Preserve was transferred to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to become part of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

Marian R. Okie Memorial Wildlife Preserve

This 118 acre property containing tidal salt marsh, wetlands, coastal forest and fields, is located on Indian River Bay in Sussex County. The property was originally donated by Austin F. “Pete” Okie to The Nature Conservancy before it was transferred to the State of Delaware’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. It is now considered part of the Assawoman Wildlife Area and is publicly accessible though a Conservation Access Pass is required to visit.

Protecting the property as wildlife habitat was intended to benefit the region by limiting the encroachment of development and minimizing contributions of pollutants to Indian River Bay, as well as providing sanctuary to a wide range of species. This tract of land is home to a variety of plants and animals including great blue herons, ospreys and mourning doves, as well as fiddler crabs, monarch butterflies and diamondback terrapins.