With all that Connecticut residents have been through this week, a long holiday weekend is just what many people need. For some, that will include a trip to a state park or beach, and it will be free.
The state has waived entrance fees at parks and beaches for the weekend, starting on Friday, so you can bet they are going to be very busy this weekend.
“We know there are still many residents of our state waiting for the power to come back on and still working to recover from the storm. But, we hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of the Governor’s offer and get outside to enjoy a relaxing day at one of our parks over the holiday,” DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty said.
The free admission to state parks and beaches does not apply to state park campgrounds, where normal camping fees will be charged. The state has posted a full list of what is open on its Web site.
The damage Irene caused has made the work to prepare the parks and beaches more difficult, so the rush is on to clean up. At some parks that are open, some services might not be available and some areas will be marked as off limits due to storm damage.
Dozens of University of New Haven students put down their books to volunteer and clean up Bradley Point in West Haven on Thursday.
Crews at Hammonasset in Madison have been working to bring out the beach’s best too. Three out of its four beaches will be ready for the crowds and campgrounds will be cleared as well, except for one area where weak trees remain a threat.
“They are actually in a position they could come down any moment, so we’re actually closing a section of camp and moving people who have reservations to other sections,” Bill Mattioli, of Hammonasset State Park, said.