State Keeping Closer Eye on Enfield Park Amid Trash Problems

The state is now keeping a closer watch on the Scantic River State Park in Enfield after residents complained for the second summer in a row about trash littering the popular swimming hole.

"What a change. I barely pick up any trash anymore," said Kayla Lagarde, of Westport, Massachusetts, who stops at the park while visiting her boyfriend who lives in East Windsor.

She said the park was littered with waste during past visits.

"It was absolutely disgusting. We would come here and we'd pick up bags full of trash," said Lagarde.

Two weeks ago, volunteers spent hours cleaning up the park and took all kinds of trash to the dump, including two toilets found in the river.

Residents say this part of the park can draw hundreds of people on summer weekends, many from out of state.

There's only one Porta Potty, and the town has supplied two trash bins to help control the trash problem.

"You want to take care of a resource like this and take out what you bring in," said Dennis Schain, the spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Schain says his agency is aware of the concerns and is taking steps to address them.

Earlier this summer, the DEEP banned alcohol in this section of the park. Schain said Environmental Conservation Police have also increased patrols here.

"This happens from time to time that really a small park gets discovered, attracts large crowds, and we do need to step in, increase our presence and get the word out and turn the situation around," said Schain.

Some here say it's not the state or town, but instead other visitors, who need to keep things clean.

"Clean up after yourselves. Leave no footprints," said Lagarde.

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