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Tag Archives: Sherwood Island State Park
Alert “06880” reader Claudia Schattman has a secret.
It’s one she wishes more people knew about. She writes:
Many Westporters have heard of it, but very few venture across the connector and wander into Sherwood Island State Park (which is now free to all Connecticut residents with a car registered in the state). Those of us in the know, though, warmly refer to Sherwood Island as the “hidden jewel of Westport.”
The park offers 238 acres of beach, wetlands and woodlands. It is home to the 9/11 Living Memorial. On a clear day, you can see the New York City skyline.
Sherwood Island is a place where tantalizing aromas of spices and herb from barbecues mix with the hum of many languages. It’s filled with children laughing and playing, friends walking and talking, and everyone enjoying this beautiful spot.
Now Westporters have another incentive to visit Sherwood Island. The Friends of Sherwood Island are holding their annual fundraiser — Shorefest — on Friday, September 7 (6-9 p.m., at the pavilion).
Westfair Fish & Chips is catering. Liz Gabriel and Pete Muller provide live music. The silent auction includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Copps Island Oysters, Broadway tickets to “Beautiful,” and a dinner cruise aboard a 30-foot Bahama sailboat.
All proceeds support the Sherwood Island Nature Center, summer internships for students, and Friends’ projects to help maintain and enhance the park’s unique environment and habitat. A donation opportunity is available to restore trees lost to storms and aging, in the West Beach Grove area.
(Click here for tickets and more information.)
There are 2 types of Westporters: Those who love Sherwood Island, and those who have never been.
Those in the 1st group include Arthur Schoeller, Michele Carey-Moody, Vanessa Bradford, Chris Buckley, Fred Cantor, Lawrence Zlatkin, Mary Ann Batsell, Hope Hageman, Michael Brennecke, Linda Amos, Erik Østbye and Peter Ritchey. They had no trouble identifying last week’s photo challenge as the Nature Center, a crown jewels in our very own state park. (Click here for Brant Mozingo’s photo, and all guesses.)
If you’re in the 2nd group: too bad. You’re missing out on 232 beautiful acres. The beach is great; there’s tons of trails, plenty of nature, and lots to do.
Plus, it’s free for Connecticut residents! (Funds come from a $10 fee when you register your motor vehicle.)
So you have 2 choices:
- Drop whatever you’re doing, and go explore Sherwood Island
- Try to guess this week’s photo challenge. If you think you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.
Wednesday’s decision to raise annual beach sticker and daily parking fees at Westport’s 3 beaches — Compo, Old Mill and Burying Hill — drew plenty of praise. It rankled others — particularly Westonites. (Click here; then scroll down for comments.)
But — as alert “06880” reader and Weston resident Mary McGee notes — a 4th “Westport beach” becomes entirely free this summer.
It’s Sherwood Island State Park.
Last fall, state officials eliminated the parking fee for Connecticut residents at most state parks. (Sherwood Island’s was $9 on weekdays, $13 on weekends.) It’s been replaced by a $10 charge, added to the Department of Motor Vehicles registrations we pay every 2 years.
It sounds like a dumb move, for a state reeling from a budget crisis. But officials estimate the change will raise $16 million more annually for our state parks.
Out-of-state residents will still pay a daily fee at Sherwood Island. Last year it was $15 on weekdays, $22 on weekends.
So why did so many out-of-staters pay more for Compo Beach last summer — and will probably do so again this year?
It’s permitted on South Beach — but banned throughout Sherwood Island.
Maybe we should be thankful, after all, for the huge increase in Uber dropoffs and pickups.
Overlooked in the blizzard of news following the passage of our state’s last-in-the-nation budget is this:
Starting January 1, Connecticut residents will no longer pay for admission to 24 state parks and 3 state forests.
It’s covered through a new Department of Motor Vehicles charge: $10, paid every 2 years.
If you’re like me, and fail to see a connection between the DMV and the Department of Environmental and Energy Protection, look at the bottom line: The new charge will raise $16 million of the $18 million needed for annual operation of the parks.
Fees collected will be kept separate from Connecticut’s general fund.
What does that mean for Westport?
For one thing, Sherwood Island — the often-overlooked 232-acre gem right inside our borders — might get a few more town visitors.
For another, I’m sure someone will suggest that the solution to our Compo Beach crowds is to shunt more out-of-towners to the state park.
Of course, free admission applies only to Connecticut residents. Whether at Sherwood Island or Compo, New Yorkers still have to pay.
And I thought no one from Westport ever goes to Sherwood Island!
It took Brandon Malin just 3 minutes — and 8 other alert “06880” readers not much longer — to identify last week’s photo challenge as the model airplane field at Connecticut’s 1st state park. (Click here for the image.)
Seems the 232-acre facility — including the “runway” — is not as unknown as I thought.
At least not to Brandon, Matt Murray, Linda Amos, Seth Schachter, Seth Braunstein, Jonathan Maddock, Golda Villa, Rick Benson and Don Jacobs.
Seth Schachter’s a 2-fer. He nailed last week’s photo challenge — and is the photographer of this one:
If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.