May 23, 2014

(HARTFORD, CT) – The administration today announced that $3.1 million to fund improvements at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport is expected to be approved at the next meeting of the state Bond Commission. The funding will allow for major renovations to the park’s main pavilion, among other upgrades.

“Sherwood Island is Connecticut’s first state park and is visited by hundreds of thousands of park goers every year,” said Governor Malloy. “It is also home to the state’s 9/11 Memorial and therefore has a special place in the state park system. The main pavilion has not seen any major renovations in nearly 25 years and is showing its age.”

The main pavilion was originally built in 1961. The funding being requested will allow the Department of Construction Services, in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), to install a new roof on the pavilion along with solar panels for electricity and hot water. In addition, the plumbing and bathroom facilities will be updated, upgrades will be made to the concession area, and necessary site landscaping will be completed.

DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said, “The improvements we plan at Sherwood Island State Park will greatly improve the park-going experience for the thousands of visitors the park receives every year. We are grateful to the Governor and the legislature for their commitment to the maintenance and improvement of our park system – especially during this centennial year.”

“This year we pay tribute to the environmental vision of Connecticut’s early leaders. Our state has an expansive system of 107 state parks and 32 state forests. Sherwood Island State Park was the first of its kind in Connecticut,” State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) said. “It is also the home to Connecticut’s victims of September 11 and their families. This beautiful memorial overlooking Long Island Sound may be the only place for some family members to reflect and to pay their respects. It is a moral obligation for the state to keep this area in good repair. The park is also a refuge of tranquility and fun for residents and a place to enjoy the beauty of our coastline. It is a significant asset and treasure of our state that must be preserved for future generations.”

“As we continue to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Connecticut’s state park system, it is vital that we invest in their infrastructure to ensure all park visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience,” added Governor Malloy. “Our state parks are destinations for millions of people every year and provide many recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, boating, and hiking. They also contribute significantly to the state’s economy.”

“Sherwood Island has a special meaning not only for Westport, but for everyone in Connecticut,” State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-Norwalk, Westport, Wilton) said. “As our oldest state park, it has long been an ideal spot for enjoying our shoreline landscape. As the home of the 9/11 Memorial, it has also become a discrete and special place for remembrance and reflection. It is important that we maintain Sherwood Island’s unique facilities so that everyone can continue to enjoy them.”

“As vice chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, I’m especially pleased with the solar panel installation on the pavilion roof,” State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-Westport) said. “I want to thank Governor Malloy for his commitment to Connecticut’s first state park, which we are lucky to enjoy here in Westport.”

The Bond Commission meeting will be held on Friday, May 30 in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.