[CT Birds] Fwd: Hammonasset State Park

Sally Brown sbrown01 at snet.net
Fri Jun 28 07:41:54 EDT 2013

I just received a reply from Tom Tyler, Director of the State Parks.  

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Tyler, Tom" <Tom.Tyler at ct.gov>
Date: June 28, 2013 7:24:51 AM EDT
To: "Sally Brown" <sbrown01 at snet.net>
Subject: RE: Hammonasset State Park

Hi Dr. Brown,

Thank you for your note and photos of the parking area at Meigs Point.  I appreciate your perspective

On the specifics of your concern about the public parking on the new sidewalk.  Yes, the sidewalk is not working as planned, as the signage and stiping of the cross walks has not yet been completed.

Our hope is that once the public is provided with direction of where to walk (and where not to park) that we will have a much safer situation where the public walking to and from the beach will have a dedicated path that will keep them away from the cars coming into the parking lot

Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns (and photos)

Tom Tyler

From: Sally Brown [sbrown01 at snet.net]
Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 8:32 AM
To: Tyler, Tom
Cc: Wagener, Karl; mary mushinsky; Esty, Daniel
Subject: Hammonasset State Park

Dear Director Tyler:

I would like to express my concerns over the recent paving done at Hammonasset State Park in the Nature Center field/parking lot.

I am a member of CT Audubon, New Haven Bird Club, Connecticut Ornithological Association, and the CT chapter of the Sierra Club.  Perhaps you are not aware of the extent of the paving that has been done.  Please see my photos below.

In responses from the State Parks division, the purpose of this paving was to provide a safer walkway for beach goers with their children who parked in the field.  However the paved area has not accomplished that.  Now cars park on that space and walkers still need to use the one way road to get to the pavilion and beach area.

In addition, the millings were used to completely pave the last six crossovers to the one-way road exit lane.  This was unnecessary and serves no safety function.

You may not be aware but the nature center field is a stop over for hundreds of migrating birds.  They use those dirt crossovers to look for insects, grains, seeds, and the grassy areas for more seeds.  The areas that collect water are used for their hydration.  Species such as horned lark, lapland longspur, snow buntings can be seen all fall and winter there and in the Restoration Marsh parking area (which has also been paved where the cars are to park).

These fields provide food for killdeer, a type of plover that is losing more and more breeding areas especially in places like Hammonasset that yields its grassy fields to parking lots.  

Hammonasset has the most cited bird species anywhere in the state.  It is a stopover for migrating birds of all species who travel thousands of miles twice a year and require the rest, water, and food that Hammonasset provides in its fields, shrubs, trees, and water.

I urge your department to work with the state environmental organizations before any further changes (including tree cutting such as that which destroyed the nesting Great Horned Owl this spring) are implemented at Hammonasset State Park.   Hammonasset can serve the beach-going public as well as being an exemplary park for conservation.

Thank you (and please see attached photos).


Sally Brown, PhD.
Branford, CT 06405
sbrown01 at snet.net

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