State park cutbacks to begin statewide after July 4th holiday

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Trash Problems At Wadsworth Park

HARTFORD — The effects of state budget cuts will soon be felt at Connecticut’s 109 state parks.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is paring services after the July Fourth holiday weekend, including closing three campgrounds in East Haddam, Baltic and Voluntown.

Agency officials have been trying to determine how best to absorb an overall $10 million budget cut. DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee says the agency’s cost-cutting plan for the parks will save $1.8 million.

While there are no park closures planned, lifeguard hours will be reduced and maintenance will be scaled back. Operating hours for state park museums and nature centers will also be reduced.

State park advocates say such cuts point to the need to find an additional revenue stream. The parks rely heavily on the state’s general fund.

Read more about how state budget cuts will impact state recreational areas.