GEORGETOWN | The Stockley Center, a state home for the intellectually disabled surrounded by 750 acres of land, may have a second role to play in public life as a park or nature preserve. Or maybe even a zoo.
Those ideas and many more have floated across the desk of Rita Landgraf, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, after her department put out a call for ideas on how the large property south of Georgetown might be of more use. Built in the 1920s, the facility was constructed to hold hundreds of mentally disabled people in an age when they were considered dangerous, so the land around it was treated like a moat to prevent escapes.
But these days, “we no longer need to isolate the population on the grounds of Stockely Center,” Landgraf said. So while its modern treatment building can hold about 50 patients, the rest of the property could be open to the public.
James Wilson, executive director of Bike Delaware, said making it easier for people to bike to work is a top priority of the campaign. “What we want is bicycling for everyone,” Wilson said. “It should not be like scuba diving, like rock climbing. It should not be a sport where you have to be an expert. It should be an everyday thing.” [Full Story …]