Scantic River State Park is notorious for drawing large crowds and collecting garbage, and now State Sen. John Kissel is stepping in to help protect the property.
The park spans nearly 800 acres in Somers, East Windsor and the popular Powder Hollow area of Enfield. According to Kissel, residents have often complained of litter left behind by large groups of out-of-towners, and this weekend, more than 80 volunteers organized a cleanup.
But it didn't last. Just hours later, volunteers returned to find “their efforts were already being cancelled out by the remnants of large group parties who occupied the picnic area during the afternoon,” Kissel wrote Wednesday in a letter to state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Klee.
“There is also a concern that drugs and other illegal activities and substances [are] being used within the park,” Kissel wrote, urging the commissioner to consider banning alcohol at the park.
“Something has to be done to preserve this beautiful park for not only Enfield residents, but all Connecticut residents,” he said in the letter.
DEEP Communications Director Dennis Schain responded to the letter in a statement Thursday. Schain explained that the park is intended to host small groups of people and has recently “become a venue that draws large numbers of people who spend many hours.”
Schain said the agency is aware of “concerns of the community about crowds, parking issues, and trash that visitors leave behind” and is stepping up police patrols in the area. He said the DEEP is also considering the alcohol ban and “discussing other local measures” with town officials.