DEEP closes over a dozen state parks; New Haven clears restricted parts of parks

Coronavirus

(WTNH) — With people around the state following the governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order, many are ready to get outside at the first sign of good weather.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has implemented lower capacity limits at parks to keep visitor numbers at a level that can support good social distancing. 

As a result, parks across the state have reached capacity and were closed to new visitors Sunday, among them:

  • C.P. Huntington State Park (Newtown, Bethel, Redding)
  • Southford Falls State Park (Southbury)
  • Sleeping Giant State Park (Hamden)
  • Bigelow Hollow State Park (Union)
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park (Middletown)
  • Devil’s Hopyard State Park (East Haddam)
  • Talcott Mountain State Park (Simsbury)
  • Penwood State Park (Bloomfield)
  • Sherwood Island State Park (Westport)
  • Topsmead State Forest (Litchfield)
  • Harkness Memorial State Park (Waterford)
  • Hammonasset Beach State Park (Madison)
  • Silver Sands State Park (Milford)
  • Rocky Neck State Park (East Lyme)
  • Mansfield Hollow State Park (Mansfield)
  • Millers Pond State Park (Haddam)

To stay updated on state park closings: https://twitter.com/CTStateParks

With nice weather this weekend, DEEP anticipated several state parks reaching capacity and needing to be closed for the day, as was the case on nice weather days over the last several weeks, particularly on weekends.

In New Haven Sunday, police patrolled closed parks and broke up groups congregating or using the park for recreational sports even though the park is closed.

Bill Dixon, Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of New Haven explained the urgency, saying, “I’ve spent a lot of time during the day just chasing people off of Bowen field and tennis court right now, you see here at Edgewood park, I have guys walking on the tennis court as if there’s nothing wrong. I’ve been to three funerals in the last three weeks and that’s you know, no one is ready to die but it’s scary what’s going on out here and we’re working our tails off trying to get people to adhere to it.”

Authorities say, you can still walk, jog, ride your bike through these parks as long as you keep a safe social distance from others, but you can’t get people together to use the basketball or tennis courts. The idea is to stop of the spread of the virus.

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