As more people go to renew their two-year motor vehicle registrations, or get a new registration, they are finding a new $10 fee on their DMV bill called Passport to the Parks. The fee was added by the General Assembly last year as a way to fund state parks and forest maintenance and staffing.
Connecticut residents no longer have to pay a parking fee when visiting the sites.
Lifeguard staffing had been reduced at Squantz Pond in New Fairfield and elsewhere last season when money became tight. All 8 parks with water bodies will be fully staffed this summer. Some state parks with museums and visitor centers also had those facilities closed due to budget cuts. They will now have hours restored from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The visitors center at Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding was only open weekends. Campgrounds at Macedonia Brook in Kent will reopen April 14, the first day of fishing season.
Fall camping will be restored at Housatonic Meadows in Sharon through Columbus Day.