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DEEP resumes collection of out-of-state parking fees at parks, forests

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is expanding its remote non-resident parking fee system to more state parks beginning Thursday, and will resume in-person non-resident parking fee collection at several state parks beginning Memorial Day Weekend. 

The remote non-resident parking fee system, piloted at a small number of state parks last fall, requires visitors with out-of-state registered vehicles to purchase a parking pass remotely through Reserve America, using a smart-phone and a credit card. 

Signage is being added at those parks so that visitors are aware of the obligation, and to provide directions on how to purchase a parking pass.  DEEP will continue to educate out-of-state visitors about the operation of this system, and failure to pay the required fee can result in the issuance of a $75 infraction fine. 

Anyone in a Connecticut-registered vehicle can still park free of charge at all State Parks and Forests year-round through the Passport to the Parks program, a fee on renewals.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 prevention measures and staffing limitations, DEEP largely did not collect non-resident parking fees, except at three shoreline beaches. 

Out-of-state parking fee collection will be in place online for Kent Falls through May 28th.  Then Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, the ticket booth will be operated by staff to collect parking fees.  The remote payment system will remain active throughout this period to provide back-up if booth is closed, or visitors arrive after 4pm, and for visitors who only have credit cards, and no cash to pay at ticket booth.   Remote collection will then be in place through October 31st.  No parking fee charged to anyone between November and the end of March.

Squantz Pond will be open this year, but DEEP will be making a separate announcement about plans in the near future.

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