The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) and Friends of CT State Parks (FCSP) held a Friends of CT State Parks Day on March 11th, where they laid out the pre-requisites for park adoption.
Report by Paula Antolini
March 11, 3:13PM EDT
HARTFORD – State Representative Stephen Harding (R-107) joined 53 other Legislators on the Honor Roll of State Park and Forest Adopters (28 of who belong to the House Republican Caucus) by adopting the Collis P. HuntingtonState Park in Redding.
The Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) and Friends of CT State Parks (FCSP) held a Friends of CT State Parks Day on March 11th, where they laid out the pre-requisites for park adoption. They include:
–Acknowledgement of a State Park or Parks their District
–Visit/Contact the State Park(s) to understand its needs
–Work with an existing “Friends of” group (if applicable) or with the CT DEEP to launch an annual event (walk, clean-up, etc.)
–Help advocate for the needs of your Park and the State Park system
“I look forward to advocating for the preservation of the Collis P. Huntington State Park, and hope to encourage residents to appreciate its beauty in new, as well as traditional, ways,” said Rep. Harding.
The Huntingtons were careful to preserve the natural quality of their land, which includes fields, dense woodlands and five ponds. Their estate, now a 1017 acre park, was opened to the public in 1973, and is adorned with Anna Huntington’s bear and wolf sculptures.
“I especially hope to safeguard the public’s access to the park as we address budget proposals this session,” added Rep. Harding, “since state park funding could be hit with $2 million in cuts.”
According to a study conducted by UConn’s Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), state parks generate $6 million a year through admissions and other fees, and provide over $1 billion and 9,000 jobs to Connecticut’s economy each year. The study also documented that for every dollar the state spends on the state park system, it receives a return of $38 in economic activity. In addition, the increased property values of individual dwellings that border or overlook green open space generate an estimated $3.1 to $5.4 million to municipalities.