Neighbors Fundraising to Buy Forest in Honor of Beau Biden - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Neighbors Fundraising to Buy Forest in Honor of Beau Biden

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Beau Biden died in May 2015 of brain cancer. Beau Biden died in May 2015 of brain cancer.

LEWES, Del.- For Lewes resident Carolyn Jones, the 4th Street Forest, adjacent to her home, is a crucial part of her community. 

"This is God's gift to us," she said. "Why we would take this away?"

Jones is the chairperson for a group called the Save A Lewes Legacy, which is working to preserve the forest area. Since July of 2013, developers have been seeking approval from the city for the Highland Heights development, to build 34-units on the 18-acre plot of land. 

Now the group is taking a new approach to stopping the development. Jones said that the group is looking to fundraise "millions of dollars," in an effort to buy the property from the landowner. Jones said the group wants to preserve the forest in the honor of former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who died in May of brain cancer. 

"It means everything to me," Jones said. "There isn't another forest like this in Lewes. Just look around."

The developer, Jack Lingo Asset Management, already received preliminary approval from the city. On behalf of the landowner, Highland Associates, the developers are now seeking final approval in the upcoming months. 

If the city grants the developer final approval, the landowner will put the property on the market. To try and out-bid the competing buyers, SALL created the Lewes Land Preservation Foundation, which is currently awaiting 501(c)3 status. 

Resident Bob Rosenberg said he believed the memorial would be the perfect use for the land. 

"Beau Biden was a friend to the children in Delaware," he said. "And people want to memorialize him. We hope that this is something that - whether you are Republican or Democrat, or whatever - that this is something we (can agree) we want to give tribute."

Nick Hammonds is the principal on the project for Jack Lingo. He said that SALL would be given the opportunity to bid for the project, just like any other company, once the approval is received. In the end though, Hammonds said that it would be the landowner's decision about who would get the property. 

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