3 state parks to be closed Memorial Day weekend - WFSB 3 Connecticut

3 state parks to be closed Memorial Day weekend

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Damage photographed at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden following Tuesday's storms. (Sarah Dennison/iWitness) Damage photographed at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden following Tuesday's storms. (Sarah Dennison/iWitness)
NEW FAIRFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

Three state parks will be closed through the Memorial Day weekend.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford, Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden and Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield will be entirely closed because of damage from last week's storm.

“While power has been restored to the [Squantz Pond], much of New Fairfield is still recovering from last week’s storm,” said first selectwoman Del Monaco. “Due to catastrophic storm damage, our town cannot safely accommodate additional traffic on town roads at this time, including vehicles pulling boats. I sincerely appreciate the DEEP and the public’s understanding while we continue to clean up from the storm and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Squantz Pond State Park in the near future.”

See the damage within Sleeping Giant here.

DEEP patrols will enforce the closures of the parks.

“That’s only 3, we have 107 out there that are amazing, natural places with a wide variety of activities for everyone and anyone who’s out there," said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee.

There are still hundreds of trees down at Wharton Brook State. The park lost nearly 800 trees due to the storms.

“Devastating, like I said it's a great park," said Bill Coitrone, of Wallingford.

On Thursday, at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Klee and Gov. Dannel Malloy held their annual parks kickoff, stressing there are plenty of options.

They also reminded folks about the new passport to parks program, which waves the parking cost for Connecticut residents, thanks to a $10 fee you pay when you register your car every two years.

“We have great treasures to share and our passport to parks program is intended to make it easier and less expensive for CT residents to visit their park system," Malloy said.

For Wallingford and Hamden park goers, it said there are nearby alternatives like West Rock Ridge in Hamden and New Haven and Wadsworth Falls in Middlefield.

Putnam Memorial in Redding and Bennet’s Pond Ridgefield could be alternatives to Squantz Pond patrons.

Kettletown State Park in Southbury, which had been closed, is slated to reopen on Friday at noon.

“We are pleased to announce that Kettletown State Park will reopen in time for the Memorial Day weekend,” said Klee. “This is truly a credit to the hard working women and men of DEEP who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to get this park ready for holiday weekend.”

For more information on the state parks and their availability, head to DEEP's website here.

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