Frey adopts Bennett’s Pond State Park

bennettspondmap640Rep. John Frey (R-111) said last week he will be adopting Bennett’s Pond State Park, joining a coalition of state park and greenway advocates within the Connecticut General Assembly.

BennetsPondShieldSignIn the 100th year anniversary of the State Park System, Rep. Frey showed his support in Hartford for the forests, parks and greenways by adopting a park that is part of his local landscape as the Friends of Connecticut State Parks and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association assembled for their Advocacy Day at the state capitol.

“I am honored to adopt Bennett’s Pond State Park,” Rep. Frey said. “I have a long-standing connection to this park and look forward to doing whatever I can to make sure generations to come enjoy it.”

Rep. Frey supported the preservation of Bennett’s Pond State Park when it was just a concept, and was successful in obtaining $4.5 million in state assistance in the acquisition.

“We are pleased to have John adopt Bennett’s Pond State Park,” added Ellen Burns, president of the Friends of Bennett’s Pond. “As our longtime state representative, John played a key role in preserving the land as open space in perpetuity, helping us to secure the DEP funding that assisted in the acquisition of this beautiful land. He was an early and avid supporter of our efforts.”

By adopting a state park, Rep. Frey will work with existing “Friends” of the park and the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to help preserve both its natural and historic characteristics. The Friends of Connecticut State Parks added him to their honor roll list of legislators.

To adopt a park, legislators are encouraged to acknowledge the state park or parks in their district, visit the state park to understand its needs and work with existing “Friends of Park” organization or with the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environment to launch an annual event (walk, clean-up, etc.) in 2013 and help advocate for the needs of the state park system

Nearly 40 legislators signed the pledge last week to adopt a state park in their respective districts. There are 107 state parks in Connecticut, and according to a UConn Economic Study, state parks employ 9,000 people each year.

Bennett’s Pond State Park was once the home of Louis D. Conley, a successful manufacturer and nursery man, whose estate of more than 1,500 acres was one of the largest in Ridgefield. Today the park’s 460 acres are just a portion of 1,800 contiguous acres of open space in both Ridgefield and Danbury.

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