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Farm River State Park

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Farm River State Park
Connecticut State Park
Farm River Connecticut State Park Quinnipiac University Boat Docks.JPG
Quinnipiac University Boat Docks at Connecticut's Farm River State Park in East Haven.
Country  United States
State  Connecticut
County New Haven
Town East Haven
Coordinates 41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694Coordinates: 41°15′17″N 72°51′25″W / 41.25472°N 72.85694°W / 41.25472; -72.85694
Area 61 acres (25 ha) [1]
Established 1998
Management Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Location in Connecticut
Website: Farm River State Park

Farm River State Park is a 61 acre state park on Long Island Sound in the town of East Haven. The undeveloped park is located alongside part of Farm River. The land was acquired by the State of Connecticut and designated a Connecticut state park in 1998 before developers began the construction of luxury condominiums along the river.

The land contains marshland, tidal wetlands and a rocky shore that hosts a number of bird species including ducks, gulls, snowy egrets, and blue herons. The unique geology of the uplands and bedrock outcrops provide the landscape diversity and allow the tidal marsh flooding to separate the park into an upper and lower portions. Park activities include picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, and car-top boating. Public access to the park is limited and boating is restricted to those with passes obtained from Quinnipiac University, who manages the park for the state.

History[edit]

Farm River State Park covers 61 acres located on the western shoreline of the Farm River. According to local historian Joseph Leary, the Farm River competes with the Housatonic River for the most names, with at least 15 different known names, complicating identification of the river with different native and colonial names.[2] One of these names, Deborah River, named for Deborah Chidsey relates to an incident in which she left Governor Gurdon Saltonstall stranded upon a rock in the river whilst waiting for the tide to recede.[2] The land surrounding the river has been dominated by summer homes as since the early 1970s, when land was inexpensive and available. The land was obtained by the State of Connecticut and designated a state park in 1998 before the construction of luxury condominiums.[1] The State of Connecticut in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Trust for Public Lands to create the park with the purchase of a 57-acre parcel and another 15 acre parcel on Mansfield Grove Road for a total of $1.75 million.[3]

Though it only has 61 acres, the park has remarkable diversity according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The land contains marshland, tidal wetlands and a rocky shore that hosts a number of bird species including ducks, gulls, snowy egrets, and blue herons. The unique geology of the uplands and bedrock outcrops allow the tidal marsh flooding to separate the park into an upper and lower portions.[1] In 2006, Quinnipiac University received $86,000 to install a wireless network communication system in the park, making it the first state park in Connecticut to have Wi-fi capability.[4] Also in 2006, a vacant and soon to be demolished house was destroyed by arson. The house was going to be demolished to create parking for the park.[5] In 2012, more than a mile of trail from the D.C. Moore School to Farm River State Park and Short Beach Road was cleared by Boy Scout Troop 401.[6]

Activities[edit]

The Farm River State Park is undeveloped, but it does contain two access point trails that leads to scenic vistas.[1] Quinnipiac University, which manages the park, offers passes to the public to launch canoes and kayaks at the site through its Community Boating Program, but the docks are only to be used by those with the pass.[1] In 2004, Leary referred to a possible development plan to create more parking, install a boardwalk and provide a proper entrance to the Farm River State Park.[2] Park activities include picnicking, hiking, bicycling, fishing, crabbing, bird watching, and car-top boating.[1]

The park is described as not being fully operational and only a portion of the park is accessible to the general public. There is access off Connecticut Route 142 (Short Beach Road) via an electrically-controlled gate off Mansfield Grove Road. Parking is limited to six cars before the park entrance gate, and a .3 miles (0.48 km) walk on a gravel access road leads to the park's waterfront.[7] For a fee of $20, visitors can obtain a season pass to access the park's marina.[1] In 2006, access to the park was the subject of debate with Attorney General Richard Blumenthal stating, "... it is wrong for the university to close a parking lot on a state park to the general public and there may be and should be some way to accommodate the renters of slips without effectively barring the general public, which, after all, owns it."[3]

Notes[edit]

Leary states that Farm River is 2 miles long, whereas other sources, including the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection instead list the river as being 16 miles long.[2][1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Farm River State Park". State Parks and Forests. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Leary, Joseph (2004). A Shared Landscape: A Guide & History of Connecticut's State Parks & Forests. Friends of the Connecticut State Parks, Inc. p. 56. ISBN 0974662909. 
  3. ^ a b Zaretsky, Mark (April 23, 2006). "The secret park; Shhh! Don't gell anyone about this pristine waterfront area in East Haven". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "$86G grant will put wireless link at park". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). March 30, 2006. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Zaretsky, Mark (November 21, 2006). "Shoreline arson fires probed; Besides time, area, no common link found in 4 blazes". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Misur, Susan (January 17, 2012). "Trail extension set in East Haven". New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Farm River State Park East Haven, Connecticut". Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 

External links[edit]