[CT Birds] Hammonasset

john@birdspix.com schwarzjs at aol.com
Mon Jun 24 21:52:10 EDT 2013

June 24:  This morning I had written again to Commissioner Esty suggesting that an open meeting be scheduled for a general airing of concerns and public Q&A over "improvements" in Connecticut Parks as it relates to wildlife. In response, I received this afternoon a phone call from Tom Tyler who is the Director of State Parks. We talked for about 20 minutes. 

I am told that the park managers' concerns at Hammonasset have to do largely with pedestrian traffic vis-a-vis auto traffic. They wished to create a new pedestrian pathway adjacent to the one way road at the nature center so as to keep beach goers, who had parked their cars

on the field and were heading for the beach, separate from the moving traffic going the opposite way on the one-way road adjacent to the marsh. And yes, they used the milled asphalt because it was readily available and free. And of course, as always, a good part of the impetus for creating the new pedestrian path naturally has to do with liability concerns.

Mr. Tyler did pay lip mild service to our concerns over wildlife, but he is frankly more attuned to Hammonasset's two million annual human visitors. I pressed him repeatedly to commit to having a public meeting, but while he claimed he would not rule it out, he also would not agree to it at this time. He would not give a reason.

Mr Tyler's direct phone number is 860-424-3099, and his e-mail is Tom.Tyler at CT.gov. I believe a flurry of e-mails and/or phone calls, all within a two to three day span, may convince him of the seriousness of our concern enough to schedule a meeting (which both the public and the media could attend). This is probably our last and only chance to positively affect the future of Hammonasset and other CT parks, so please, please let Mr. Tyler hear from you by phone or e-mail in the next couple of days. It doesn't have to be more than two or three sentences, but let him at least hear of your concerns. As the saying goes, speak now or forever hold your peace. Thanks.

John Schwarz

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