Hundreds of thousands more flock to Connecticut parks

Associated Press Aug. 31, 2019 Updated: Aug. 31, 2019 7:44 a.m.Comments2

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands more people are visiting state beaches and parks, due in part to a two-year-old program that provides free admittance for vehicles with a Connecticut license plate.

Rough estimates indicate there has been an approximate 10% percent increase in traffic to the parks this season compared to last season, which was the first year of the Passport to Parks initiative, said Tom Tyler, director of state parks for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

There was an estimated 10% jump in attendance in 2018 as well. Approximately 10 million visitors come to Connecticut state parks each year.

“We are seeing another very strong year,” said Tyler, noting there were “a ton of really hot, humid, sunny weekends” that likely contributed to the uptick as well. Tyler said there was also in increase in out-of-state parking fees of about 10%, which likely had a lot to do with the good beach weather.

Full article here

 

Vacancy Announcement – Director, Virginia State Parks

The opportunity

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) seeks a leader and strategist in developing, directing, and promoting a statewide parks and outdoor recreation program as the Virginia State Parks Director.

Virginia State Parks works “to conserve the natural, scenic, historic and cultural resources of the Commonwealth and provide recreational and educational opportunities consistent with the good stewardship of these lands, waters and facilities that leaves them unimpaired for future generations” and is a nationally recognized leader in state park management, twice winning the National Gold Medal Award, and initiating a long list of exemplary programs including First Day Hikes, Youth Conservation Corps Program, Dark Sky designations, Park Rx America program, Pocahontas Rider Center and many more.

As the agency leader responsible for carrying out this mission, the State Parks Director manages a system of currently 38 parks that encompasses:

75,000 acres of conserved property; 55,000 acres of forest;
20,000+ programs and workshops; 2,060 campsites;

651 miles of trails;
488 miles of shoreline;
293 cabins;
36 lakes and ponds;
11 swimming beaches;
6 swimming pools; and
2 international dark sky sites.

Our parks can be found in locations among the highest mountains in the state all the way down to sea level with parks facing the Atlantic Ocean as well as the critical Chesapeake Bay estuary. Our parks can be found ideally-located on 8 major river{s; 4 major lakes; 4 rail trails; and 3 battlefield sites.

The natural resources of Virginia State Parks attract the visitation of over 10 million visitors annually; contributing an economic impact of over $200 million to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The annual operating budget for the system is $45 million. A full time staff of 275 and a wage staff of over 1,000 during the prime season operate and manage the Virginia State Park system.

There are 6 districts within the system and State Park Headquarters is located in Main Street Centre in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

More details, full announcement here