Alcohol ban could only be first phase of Scantic River State Par - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Alcohol ban could only be first phase of Scantic River State Park clean up

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

A popular park in Enfield is being trashed and visitors and volunteers alike continue to say they’ve had enough.

Garbage has marred the Scantic River State Park and officials said an alcohol ban issued 90 days ago was just the first step.

There are several signs up in the parking lot to let people know that alcohol is not allowed.

Tuesday, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection met with officials in town to see what can be done as the next step.

DEEP said from May 1 through Sept. 1, 19 infractions were issued. Many of them were for alcohol possession. It also issued 10 verbal warnings. Most of the people involved were part of groups.

"Food, cans, bottles. You name it,” said Lesley Harrison of Enfield. “Every kind of garbage you can think of."

Harrison said she and her pup walk in the park every morning.

"I noticed that Monday mornings are cleaner,” she said. “There's still some garbage around on Monday mornings, but nowhere near like it used to be."

The park touches Somers, Enfield and East Windsor. It’s been alcohol free since Memorial Day of this year.

"When we would go down to the creamery you wouldn't see that many cars." said Anthony Scussel of Enfield. "Now, it just seems like there's a lot of people there."

State officials said the garbage and gatherings were getting out of control as the park’s popularity grew.

“The crowds, the litter, at times some unruly behavior, and we did as result institute a liquor ban," said Dennis Schain, DEEP’s communications director.

While officers increased their patrols and intend to keep the ban, state officials said they aren’t out to fine people. Rather, it’s to raise awareness.

"We haven't been out there looking to ticket everybody in the world,” Schain said. “We really want people to know the rules, obey the rules and have an enjoyable time there."

State officials said bringing alcohol into the park is a misdemeanor.

They said their 11:30 a.m. meeting drew town council members, town officials and a number of interested citizens. Roughly 50 people attended.

"It definitely should be permanent," Scussel said.

Right now, officials said the ban isn't going anywhere.

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