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Alcohol ban re-imposed at 6 state recreation areas: DEEP

In recent years these locations experienced increased crowds and alcohol consumption, which led to increased incidents of misconduct.
Gardner Lake State Park

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Thursday they are re-imposing temporary alcohol bans for six state recreation areas.  

The bans are in effect immediately and until August 25, 2021, at the following locations:  

  • Gardner Lake State Park, Salem
  • Paugussett State Forest (upper Section)/George Waldo State Park, Southbury
  • Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middletown/Middlefield
  • Lake Waramaug State Park, New Preston
  • Quaddick State Park, Thompson
  • Beach Pond Boat Launch, Voluntown, as well as the portion of Pachaug State Forest, within 500 yards inland from the Beach Pond shoreline.

DEEP said in a statement, that in recent years including 2020, these locations have had increased crowds and alcohol consumption, leading to more incidents of misconduct, unruly behavior, property damage, and trespass. This led to complaints by other visitors and the surrounding communities.

"Unfortunately, alcohol has become a problem at these parks and [in] these particular parks, we saw a fairly drastic increase in the number of individuals we saw go into these parks, that are for the most part smaller more rural parks, meaning they have fewer facilities to handle larger crowds of people and they're harder for us to get to, and even for fire and EMS to get to," said Officer Elise Bouthillier of the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police.

A temporary alcohol ban will give DEEP’s law enforcement officers an enforceable tool to minimize the inappropriate use of the state outdoor recreation areas. They said the rule in the past has been an effective tool to reduce negative behaviors and make state parks, forests, and boat launches safer.

“We want our parks, forests, boat launches, and waters to be peaceful, family-oriented places where adults and children can feel welcome and safe,” said Mason Trumble, Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation. “This measure, combined with continued supervision and education by DEEP staff and officers, will help restore a welcoming and safe atmosphere for all.”

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