The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks & Recreation and the Old Growth Forest Network recently announced that Delaware is the first state to be recognized for dedicating a mature forest in each of its counties into the Old Growth Forest Network.

Each of the forests to be recognized is also a state nature preserve.

Gov. John Carney joined DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin to make the announcement during a ceremony at one of the designated nature preserves — the Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve in Brandywine Creek State Park.

In addition to the Tulip Tree Wood Nature Preserve, the preserves designated in the network of protected forests are the Fork Branch Nature Preserve in Dover and the Nanticoke River (Barnes Woods) Nature Preserve outside Seaford.

The Old Growth Forest Network is a national nonprofit organization whose goal is to connect people with nature by identifying and protecting mature forests, like those found in Delaware’s three nature preserves. The network seeks to preserve, protect and promote the few remaining stands of old-growth forest in the U.S. The network also has dedicated forests in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and is expanding across the U.S.