Young girl running in front of Harkness Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park

The Future of Our Parks

Connecticut State Parks are one of our state’s most treasured resources and here for all of us to explore and enjoy. But, just as importantly, they’re our legacy to future generations. 

The Lamont administration set ambitious goals for the future of our state lands and have invested historical levels of funding. A combination of state and federal funds will address a backlog of repair and refurbishment needs, revitalize our outdoor spaces, and give our parks the love they deserve today and the protection they need into the future. 

To realize this vision, plans focus on the following goals:

  • Increased access for all Connecticut residents.

    Improving access to the outdoors through programs like Passport to the Parks and ParkConneCT, accessibility upgrades, and more.

  • Infrastructure upgrades and improvements. 

    Reducing DEEP’s infrastructure footprint with a renewed commitment to energy efficiency, enhancing park facilities, and more.

  • Land conservation. 

    Acquiring undeveloped open space to preserve for future generations, reduce urban sprawl, and open to public recreation.

  • Increasing outdoor recreation and education. 

    Expanding and connecting recreational trails, introducing new amenities, and promoting environmental education.

Woman in canoe on Burr Pond State Park (Instagram@thom_carroll)

DEEP Funds

Maintenance, Repair And Improvement Account

Public Act 10-3 created a separate, non-lapsing account within the state’s General Fund, to be known as the Maintenance, Repair and Improvement Account. This account contains funds generated by special events at various state parks, such as pavilion rentals, wedding receptions, etc. The Public Act requires that these funds be held in separate sub-accounts for the benefit of the park facilities in which the funds were generated.  

Passport to the Parks Account 

Public Act 17-2 JSS created a new “Passport to the Parks” program, which includes a number of provisions, including changes to the MRI Accounts. These funds are now to be contained in separate sub-accounts within a new Fund called the “Passport to the Parks” Account. This change results in there being two “MRI” accounts for each park which generates these funds, both an “older” MRI account and a new one as part of the Passport to the Parks Account.

The law also requires that the DEEP provide a semi-annual accounting of the revenue and expenses from these accounts, and to post that information on our website. Below are links to both the original and the new “Passport” MRI accounts. We also include additional detail on revenue and expenditures on the larger MRI accounts (those that generate over $5,000 of revenue each year). 


State & Federal Funds

The adopted state budget includes $51.5 million ($21.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds as well as $30 million of bond fund authorization) to support these important investments.

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Couple looking out over vista at Lovers Leap State Park

American Legion State Forest, Riverton

Invasive Plant Control 
Estimated cost $6,000
This project will involve removing non-native invasive plants currently growing within a six-acre section of the American Legion State Forest and was started in Spring of 2023. Plants that will be removed include Japanese barberry, Asian bittersweet, multi-flora rose, bush honeysuckle, and winged euonymus. Removing these invasive plants will allow native plants to grow in their place, which provide an important food source and habitat resources to native insects and wildlife.

Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument, North Canaan

Wood Deck Replacement 
Estimated cost $10,000
Due to wear and tear on the bridge wood decking at Beckley Furnace Industrial Monument, it will be replaced.

Belding Wildlife Management Area, Vernon

Bridge Ramp Replacement 
Estimated cost $5,000
The current bridge ramp lumber at Belding Wildlife Management Area is being removed and replaced.

Black Rock State Park, Thomaston

Enhance Restroom Facilities with New Partitions 
Estimated cost $100,000
Black Rock State Park offers excellent swimming, hiking, camping, scenic views, and Indian legend all tucked into the scenic rolling hills of the Western Highlands. Funding will enable improvements to restroom facilities by replacing deteriorated bathroom partitions with low maintenance synthetic partitions in all four restroom buildings.

Burlington Fish Hatchery, Burlington

Engineering Study 
Estimated cost $100,000 
The Burlington Fish Hatchery is 99 years old, and much of its plumbing is in need of evaluation, repairs and upgrading. This project will involve hiring an engineering consultant to create a plan for the needed updates, including installing new wells, re-pointing existing wells, replacing main water supply pipe to hatchery, installing new water collection boxes with valving to control water, and installing new rearing tanks. The hatchery produces Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee, and Rainbow Trout for Fisheries Management Programs. Fish raised here are used to stock local rivers, supporting recreational fishing programs.

Electrical Upgrades 
Estimated cost $2,000 
The objective of this project is to run power to various raceways and tanks at the hatchery, and to install outlets that will power the aerators responsible for providing oxygen to fish. 

Chatfield Hollow State Park, Killingworth

Improvements to Beach Area 
Estimated cost $9,000
Chatfield Hollow State Park offers a scenic waterfront area and is a popular spot for swimmers. The beach area has a shallow sand depth and turns up gravel and stones when graded. Funding will allow the replenishment of the beach area with new sand, improving the experience of barefoot visitors, and will enable park staff to maintain proper grading of this area.

Shreeder Pond Dredge 
Estimated cost $20,000 
Dredging of Shreeder Pond will help clear leaf debris that has built up in many areas, and improve the aesthetics and water quality of the pond.

Evaluation and Rehabilition of the Covered Bridge 
Estimated cost $100,000
Due to structural deterioration and abutment repair needs, the covered bridge at Chatfield Hollow State Park will be fully evaluated and rehabilitated.

Park Road Paving 
Estimated cost $500,000
The entire park, in particular the park entrance, which has numerous patched potholes and drainage issues, will be paved. 

Mill Pond Repair 
Estimated cost $150,000 
The Mill Pond Dam at Chatfield Hollow needs to be repaired as the masonry work has deteriorated, resulting in loose stones, spillway damage and water running through the wing wall.

Devil’s Hopyard State Park, East Haddam

Footbridge Repair 
Estimated cost $75,000
Repairs to the footbridge at Devil’s Hopyard include deck replacement and structural reinforcement.

Cockaponset State Forest, Haddam

Road Work 
Estimated cost $208,500
This project will span 3.78 miles of roadway in two areas within Cockaponset State Forest. The road is severely washed out and is in need of several improvements including water bar construction, ditching, grading, and stone reinforcement. Repairs will be made to the eroded dirt road to improve vehicle access for forest management, fire protection, recreational use, and disabled hunter access. Road repairs will also reduce sedimentation of waterways which can harm amphibian and reptile populations.

Day Pond, Salmon River State Forest, Marlborough

Timber Stand Management 
Estimated cost $7,350
The objective of this project is to improve 10.5 acres of forest within the Day Pond Block of Salmon River State Forest by implementing pre-commercial thinning and using timber stand management practices. Poor quality and undesirable trees will be removed to improve the growth and quality of the residual trees.

Dennis Hill State Park, Norfolk

Pavilion Floor Repair 
Estimated cost $20,000
The Dennis Hill State Park Pavilion, was once the summer residence of Dr. Frederick Shepard Dennis, who gifted the property to the State of Connecticut in 1935, and his home was converted into an open-air pavilion. The floor will be repaired so the pavilion can continue to provide visitors with a unique destination for weddings and other special events.

Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill

Maintenance Building Roof Repair 
Estimated cost $20,000
Dinosaur State Park and its grounds offer a range of exciting opportunities for visitors, including an indoor exhibit center, and its more than 200-million-year-old fossil trackway, trails, marsh boardwalk, and pavilion. There is one maintenance building on the property, and its roof is well beyond its useful lifespan. Funding will enable the necessary roof repairs to be completed, including the replacement of shingles, rotted sheathing, and associated trim, the application of an ice and water barrier, and the installation of gutters.

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, Groton

Water Damage Repair 
Estimated cost $10,000
Water damage in the bathroom and kitchen areas of the Monument House at Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park will be repaired. This includes both plasterwork and woodwork in the historic structure, enabling continued use of the facility.

Fort Trumbull State Park, New London

Blockhouse Roof Replacement and Re-pointing 
Estimated cost $50,000 
The roof of the historic blockhouse, constructed in the 1800’s will be replaced and the lower courses of block on the building will be repointed.

Elevator Replacement 
Estimated cost $100,000 
The elevator, allowing access to the top of Fort Trumbull has been out of service for nearly a decade and must be replaced. Replacement will allow access for all persons to the top of the Fort, ensuing a pleasurable experience for all who visit.

HVAC System 
Estimated cost $250,000 
A ventilation and temperature control system will be installed at the Fort. Currently the rooms are not open to the public due to hazardous conditions. This will prevent mold growth, increase the lifespan of the building, and allow greater public access to the facility.

Gate Replacement 
Estimated cost $15,000 
The main gate was vandalized and needs to be replaced. This gate controls access to the grounds and prohibits unauthorized vehicle access.

Crack Sealing of Parking Lot 
Estimated cost $30,000 
The parking lot at Fort Trumbull State Park will be crack sealed to prevent further damage and ensure its integrity.

Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area, Franklin

Range Storage Building 
Estimated cost $18,000 
The range storage building houses equipment for hunter safety events and educational programs. These repairs include addressing areas of rot in the building walls and replacement of the building roof to better protect these hunter safety training tools.

Research Building Storage Roof 
Estimated cost $22,000 
A storage building that houses equipment for wildlife research and a small field laboratory will receive new exterior shingles and a new roof to address interior leaks and better protect these items and the associated research space. Activities supported through this project directly benefit wildlife-based recreational activities such as wildlife viewing and hunting.

Gardner Lake State Park, Salem

Improvements to Beach Area 
Estimated cost $50,000
Gardner Lake State Park attracts visitors who are primarily visiting to enjoy the waterfront. Existing sand quality has deteriorated. This project will replenish the area with new sand to improve the visitor experience. 

Gay City State Park, Hebron

Beach Area Upgrades 
Estimated cost $100,000
Gay City State Park offers 1500 acres of endless opportunities for outdoor fun including the exploration of extinct mill-town ruins and stone foundations, picnicking, and swimming. This project will enhance the existing beach area by replenishing with new sand, regrading, and redirecting runoff from the upper parking lot away from the beach. The upper parking lot area will also be re-graded as part of this project.

Gillette Castle State Park, East Haddam

Masonry Wall Sealing 
Estimated cost $20,000 
The maintenance schedule for this historic structure calls for sealing the exterior masonry every five years. This sealing will protect and preserve the structure.

Pergola and Solarium Repairs 
Estimated cost $50,000 
The Pergola will be restored and the solarium windows and sills will be repaired, reglazed, and repainted.

Terrace Reconstruction 
Estimated cost $900,000
This project will restore the historic terrace overlook adjacent to the castle including a new drainage system and railings for visitors to safely view the Connecticut River from this location.

Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison

East Beach Bathhouse Deck Replacement 
Estimated cost $110,000 
Many visitors at Hammonasset Beach State Park enjoy the views from both the sand and even from the decks of our bathhouses. While the East Beach Bathhouse facility is in good condition overall, the deck is beginning to fall into a state of disrepair. Funding would allow the deck to be replaced before it deteriorates further.

Road Paving Project 
Estimated cost $1.5M 
Hammonasset Beach State Park is Connecticut’s largest shoreline park, attracting over three million visitors each year. Funding will involve the complete repaving of the heavily used four lanes of the main park entry road, which represents both the entry and exit lanes from Route 1 to the main rotary inside the park.

Beach Road Campsites Utility Upgrade 
Estimated cost $25,000 
Campsites 1-20 on Beach Road are the most sought-after campsites of all Connecticut State Parks. The current 30 amp service utilities on these sites were installed over 10 years ago, and are unable to handle the higher demand of today’s new, larger camping units with options that require more amperage. Funding will enable these sites to be updated from 30 amp to 50 amp service.

Roof Replacement - Picnic Shelter #2 
Estimated cost $15,000 
Hammonasset Beach State Park hosts thousands of family gatherings, birthday parties, workplace functions, showers, and other celebrations each year, many taking place in our reservable picnic shelters, which can accommodate up to 65 guests each. The antiquated pine shiplap roof of Shelter #2, last known to be replaced in 1987, is showing advanced signs of deterioration occurring over the last 30+ years. This project will involve stripping the old roof down to the rafters and replacing the roof (including shingles), enabling this to continue to be a popular gathering place for years to come.

Roof Replacement - Picnic Shelter #3 
Estimated cost $15,000 
Hammonasset Beach State Park hosts thousands of family gatherings, birthday parties, workplace functions, showers, and other celebrations each year, many taking place in our reservable picnic shelters, which can accommodate up to 65 guests each. The antiquated pine shiplap roof of Shelter #3, last known to be replaced in 1987, is showing advanced signs of deterioration occurring over the last 30+ years. This project will involve stripping the old roof down to the rafters and replacing the roof (including shingles), enabling this to continue to be a popular gathering place for years to come.

Replacement of Wooden Post and Rail 
Estimated cost $150,000 
With over three million visitors arriving at Hammonasset Beach State Park each year, the park entrance and main entry road give visitors their first impression of the park and provides them with direction on where to go. Funding of this project involves the replacement of deteriorating wooden post and rail guardrail alongside approximately 0.75 mile of the main entry road, from the campground exit road to the main park rotary. This rail also acts a safety barrier between the campground and entry road, preventing vehicles from entering the campground and bypassing the camp office.

Hop River State Park Trail, Bolton

Installation of Lighting in the Hop River Trail Tunnel 
Estimated cost $200,000
By the 1960’s, Connecticut’s vast rail-based transportation era had come to an end, and as railroads became abandoned, conservation efforts through the years have yield the many rail-trail systems we have today, including the Hop River State Park Trail. The 20-plus miles of this trail is a popular destination for walkers, bikers, and other recreational users. This project will involve installing lighting in the Hop River Trail Tunnel, a 300 foot long, curved tunnel with drainage ditches on both sides of the trail. Currently unlit and dark due to its length and curvature, this project will address safety concerns by coordinating lighting with daylight and park hours.

Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford

Staff/Maintenance Area Renovations and Improvements 
Estimated cost $750,000
The former summer residence of the Harkness family included staff quarters from when they were in residence in the early 1900’s. This building was used for staff offices and maintenance operations but is structurally and operationally deficient. These renovations and improvements will bring the building back up to code and allow for use by park staff. 

Haystack Mountain State Park, Norfolk

Invasive Plant Control 
Estimated cost $18,000
This project is to take place on a 20-acre section of the State Park, where an ash tree salvage operation occurred in 2022. This area is in need of invasive plant management. This project will involve removing non-native invasive plants including Japanese barberry, multi-flora rose, bush honeysuckle, Asian Bittersweet, and others. Removing these invasive plants will allow native plants to grow in their place, which provide an important food source and habitat resources to native insects and wildlife, and reinforce the overall forest ecosystem.

Indian Well State Park, Shelton

Tree Removal and Pruning 
Estimated cost $75,000
Tree removal and pruning is a necessary expense of maintaining our State Parks. This project involves the removal of approximately 50 trees, and the pruning of an additional 104 trees at Indian Well State Park, with chipping and removal included, and the removal of stumps later.

James L. Goodwin State Forest/Natchaug State Forest, Hampton

Invasive Plant Control 
Estimated cost $33,000
This project will involve removing non-native invasive plants across a 33.6-acre section of Goodwin/Natchaug State Forest. In this section of the State Forest, invasive plants threaten forest resilience by overwhelming the forest understory, and native trees succumb to invasive insects. Removing these invasive plants will allow native plants to re-grow, which provide an important food source and habitat resources to native insects and wildlife, and overall strengthen our forest ecosystems.

Kent Falls State Park, Kent

Enhancement of the Kent Falls State Park Trail 
Estimated cost $250,000
Kent Falls State Park is a popular tourist destination and is well known for its exceptional scenic qualities. This project will involve replacing the existing wire rope rail system on the trail with wooden rails to ensure public safety. The trail surface will be regraded, and concrete applied to improve the walking surface.

Larkin State Park Trail, Naugatuck

Enhancement of the Larkin State Park Trail 
Estimated cost $400,000
Stretching across four towns and encompassing 110 acres, the 10-mile-long Larkin State Park Trail is a popular linear trail used by hikers, equestrians and other user groups. Some sections have eroded and overgrown leading to nearly impassable conditions in some locations. This project includes reconstruction of several sections, rebuilding the railbed to pre-erosion condition, with the addition of gravel, stone dust overlay, and drainage swales.

Mashamoquet Brook State Park, Pomfret

Wolf Den Campground Bathhouse  
Estimated cost $6,540
The Wolf Den Campground Bathhouse’s well water tanks will be replaced.

Improvements to Wolf Den Campground 
Estimated cost $4,000
This project will replace the electrical service that supplied the campground dump station and water supply from the former maintenance barn. A new electrical service will be installed to fulfill the need for power as a result of the loss of the building to fire.

Natchaug State Forest, Hampton/Eastford

Forest Headquarters Roof Install (Eastford)
Estimated cost $75,000
The roof at the Natchaug Forest Headquarters is structurally unsound. This will allow for the repair of structural deficiencies and the installation of new metal roofing. Due to its location and susceptibility to lighting strike, arresters will be installed.

Road Resurfacing (Hampton/Eastford)
Estimated cost $78,000
Routine use, and increased frequency of storm events have left roads within the State Forest below grade, needing gravel and improved drainage to properly shed water and reduce sedimentation. Culverts also need to be replaced as many are undersized to handle increased water volume demands associated with climate change. Repairing these roadways will facilitate public, administrative, and emergency access to thousands of acres of Natchaug State Forest and will reduce sedimentation of waterways which can harm amphibian and reptile populations.

Pachaug State Forest, Voluntown

Pachaug – Green Falls Water System Upgrade 
Estimated cost $75,000 
Currently there is no fresh water access for campers at the Green Falls Campground. This project will utilize existing wells and install a pump house and water storage tanks providing fresh water for the picnic and campground areas.

Maintenance Facility Lighting Upgrade 
Estimated cost $20,000 
The lighting at the Pachaug Maintenance Facility is inadequate, inefficient and beyond its usable lifespan. LED lighting will be installed providing appropriate safety and greater efficiency.


Quinebaug Fish Hatchery, Plainfield

Piping Repairs and Tank Resurfacing 
Estimated cost $100,000 
The Quinebaug Fish Hatchery was constructed in 1971, and the piping and tank bottoms are in disrepair. The objective of this project is to have the failing tank drainpipes lined, and to resurface the fish tank bottoms. The hatchery produces several species of trout for Fisheries Management Programs. Fish raised here are used to stock local rivers, supporting recreational fishing programs.

Lighting Improvements 
Estimated cost $15,000
The lighting system over the 50-foot production tanks is made of antiquated high pressure sodium bulbs, half of which are currently non-functional. This lighting system will be replaced with energy efficient LED lighting to improve safety, operations, and lower energy consumption.

Emergency Generator and Underground Storage Tank 
Estimated cost $500,000
Quinebaug Valley Hatchery is the state’s largest trout hatchery, annually raising 480,000 catchable size brook, Brown, Rainbow and Tiger (hybrid between a Brown and Brook) trout along with fingerlings for use in other state fish hatcheries to support recreational fishing in Connecticut. Coldwater recreational fisheries in Connecticut (Trout and Salmon) support over 1.5 million fishing trips per year by over 100,000 anglers, generating ~$45M in annual expenditures and a net economic impact of ~$67.5 million per year. Catastrophic losses of fish would start within 30 minutes if the facility lost commercial power and the site’s generator were to fail. The new backup generator for Quinebaug Valley Trout Hatchery will replace a nearly 30-year-old generator that is currently the only backup power supply to the facility.

Quinebaug River Wildlife Management Area, Plainfield

Habitat Management 
Estimated cost $44,000
This project is for mowing services at Quinebaug River Wildlife Management Area. The project activity will consist of mowing woody vegetation for the purpose of wildlife habitat management. The project does not involve the construction, repair or replacement of any infrastructure. Following project activities, the site will remain an undeveloped natural area composed of unique high-quality habitat.

Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme

Utility Upgrade and Replacement 
Estimated cost $8.5M
Much of the utility infrastructure at Rocky Neck State Park is decades old and requires upgrades and repairs. This project will support a feasibility and design study, construction, and upgrade of sewer, electric and telecom. A similar project was completed at Hammonasset Beach State Park. This will allow for greater reliability of the public amenities in the day use and campground areas of the park.

Salmon River State Forest, East Hampton/Colchester

ADA Fishing Access Improvements (East Hampton)
Estimated cost $40,000
The objective of this project is to replace and improve the current ADA-accessible path and retaining wall in the designated fishing area of Salmon River State Forest. This will allow ADA-accessible fishing to continue in the Salmon River.

Invasive Plant Control (Colchester)
Estimated cost $35,000
The objective of this project is to reduce the presence of non-native invasive plant species that are spreading across two forest stands within the Salmon River State Forest, spanning a total of 34 acres. The plants being targeted for removal include Japanese barbery, multi-Flora rose and bittersweet varying in density from low to high. If untreated, these shrubs will continue to grow and spread, displacing native vegetation and degrading the forest ecosystem. The means of eradication will be a combination of cutting and herbicide.

Salt Rock State Park Campground, Sprague

Construction of New Bathhouse Facility 
Estimated cost $1M 
Salt Rock Campground is the most recent addition to the Connecticut State Park Campground system. Despite its recent acquisition, the facilities at Salt Rock Campground are in disrepair and unsuitable for the volume of use that they receive. Funding will involve the construction of a new bath house facility using the DEEP standardized design, which will consolidate and expand on existing facilities inherited with the property.

Improvements to Campground Office 
Estimated cost $18,0000
The office at Salt Rock Campground currently has only storm/plexiglass windows and is not insulated, despite being used year-round by full-time and seasonal staff. The building has leaks and does not effectively hold heat and air conditioning, resulting in reduced efficiency and higher operation costs. This project involves the replacement of the asphalt-shingle roof, windows, the addition of insulation, and the installation of a finished wall over the insulation.

Seaside State Park, Waterford

Site Improvements and Improved Public Access  
Estimated cost $7,100,000
The implementation of “Passive Park” concept at Seaside will include removal of the deteriorated buildings; the implementation of restrooms and walking trails, shoreline improvements, picnic areas, parking improvements, historic interpretation of the site, and other elements.

Shenipsit State Forest, Stafford

Maintenance Facility Electrical Upgrade 
Estimated cost $17,000
The Maintenance Facility’s electrical system is in need of substantial repair and upgrade to support our staff operations of the Forest unit.

Sherwood Island State Park, Westport

Maintenance Facility Restroom Improvements 
Estimated cost $7,500 
The restrooms in the Stone Barn and Mechanic’s Shop will be rehabilitated to ensure continued operations and meet code standards.

Stone Barn ADA Upgrades 
Estimated cost $40,000 
The doors on the Stone Barn Maintenance Facility will be upsized to meet ADA-compliance widths. This will allow for proper ingress and egress and reduce other operational obstacles.

Asphalt Crack Sealing and Repair 
Estimated cost $80,000 
Throughout the park, bituminous surfaces will be either crack-sealed or repaired to prevent further degradation.

Maintenance Storage Building 
Estimated cost $400,000 
A simple metal vehicle and equipment storage building will be constructed to meet park operational needs.

White Barn and Grove Bathhouse Demolition 
Estimated cost $25,000 
The White Barn and the Grove Bath House at Sherwood Island State Park are structurally deficient, and portions are beyond repair. They are not usable for park operations and will be removed. 

Silver Sands State Park, Milford

Marsh Bridge and Walk Renovations 
Estimated cost $110,000
The Marsh Bridge and Walk will have current decking and posts removed and replaced. The aluminum rails will be re-used in the reconstruction. 

Squantz Pond State Park, New Fairfield

Bath House Improvements 
Estimated cost $80,000 
Squantz Pond offers four-season enjoyment with steep, wooded slopes, a cool, blue pond popular for swimming, and colorful foliage to delight visitors throughout the year. Funding will allow the replacement of partitions that are in poor condition, the addition of energy efficient and emergency lighting, updated plumbing, and flooring improvements. The project also includes a new roof and the removal of leaking skylights.

Squantz Cove State Boat Launch Renovations 
Estimated cost $1M
Renovation of an existing public state boat launch and associated gravel parking area to improve public access, safety, and make the recreational facility ADA-compliant.

Statewide – Multiple Locations

Water System Upgrades 
Estimated cost $50,000
These funds will be allocated to a number of DEEP facilities across the State to repair, upgrade, and replace applicable components associated with regulated public water systems.

Toilet Upgrades 
Estimated cost $800,000
This is an initiative to replace several single-unit composting toilets throughout the state with vault-style toilets.

Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury

Heublein Tower – Major Renovations and Preservation 
Estimated cost $6.2M
Heublein Tower originally built in 1914 and opened to the public in 1974, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and is one of Connecticut’s most iconic cultural resources. Those with sharp vision can see an area estimated to be 1,200 square miles from the top of the tower, which welcomes an estimated 130,000 visitors each year.  Funding will be used to for a detailed condition assessment, as well as planning and design work leading to major capital improvements of the Tower.

Heublein Tower Observation Deck Replacement Windows 
Estimated cost $150,000 
This project, which will run in advance of the larger, and longer-term, renovation project discussed above, will involve the replacement of the Observation Deck’s twenty windows which were last replaced in the 1980’s. New, historically appropriate windows built to withstand severe weather and winds, will create a safer area for observations.


Topsmead State Forest, Litchfield

Relocation of Maintenance Facility Electrical Panel 
Estimated cost $5,000 
The electrical panel is currently located in a position which is too close to the furnace and must be relocated.

Addition of Winter Parking Lot 
Estimated cost $20,000 
A new small (20 car) parking area for off-season parking will be created to allow for access when the roadway is impassable, typically in spring in winter.

Western District Forests – Multiple Locations

Gate Installations 
Estimated cost $25,000
Ten gates need to be installed to block unauthorized vehicle access on gravel roads in several State Forests. Unlimited vehicle access during mud season causes erosion and sedimentation, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Limiting unauthorized access will preserve the gravel roads and lower the cost of general maintenance.

West Rock Ridge State Park - Hamden

Repaving Project 
Estimated cost $1M
West Rock Ridge State Park is a popular destination for visitors who appreciate the views from the overlooks, and access the paved roads for walking, bicycling, and other recreational uses, as well as vehicular access on the 1.6-mile-long Regicide Drive.  All paved roads within the park need to be milled and repaved, due to numerous potholes and washout areas that are beyond repair, to ensure that we can continue to accommodate visitors.