Leyda Quast / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy addressed veterans, federal, state and local officials Monday at the dedication of the state's first memorial honoring those in Connecticut who have served the nation.

The cost of getting into some national parks increases on Thursday.

The rates will go up despite the fact that visitation at parks is up, which means bigger crowds, congested traffic and busier visitor centers. But more people aren't translating into a big boost for park budgets. For example, visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is up 20 percent so far this year and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion are also seeing double-digit increases. The parks are also seeing the strain. About 100 parks are planning an entrance fee hike.

The Adirondack Council has released its annual report assessing actions by governmental leaders and agencies toward the Adirondack Park. 

Close to $10 million in local, state, and federal money has been spent in the last couple of years to construct or renovate parks of all shapes and sizes in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.  The projects have opened up new recreational opportunities, eliminated blight, and brought parks closer to the people.

Children this summer had a chance to cool off and play on a splash pad in one of Springfield’s newest parks.


Connecticut officials will be unveiling plans to make wide-ranging improvements to the Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

Ethan M. Long / Creative Commons

State sales tax will be added to the parking fees at three shoreline parks this weekend at Sherwood Island State Park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, and Rocky Neck State Park. That's thanks to a legislative change in the state budget which went into effect July 1st.

Jason Neely

The beautiful spring weather helps fill up local parks. In Middletown, residents walk and picnic at one of the highest points in the city. It's not a park, but a cemetery. 

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Connecticut's energy and environmental commissioner says budget cuts proposed by Governor Dannel Malloy could lead to reduced hiring, closing bathrooms at some state parks, and restricting trash collection.

Update at 6:46pm ET:

On their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the top of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park at 3:25 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles Times reports the climbers' families were waiting for them at the summit. From The New York Times:

Pete Souza / White House

A measure designating Samuel Colt's 19th-century gun factory in Connecticut as a national park was signed into law on Friday by President Barack Obama. 

Aaron Knox / Creative Commons

Congress recently gave final approval to a defense spending bill that includes language creating the Coltsville National Historical Park -- but much work remains before the park is a reality.

Victor Solanoy / Creative Commons

Around 100 people attended a meeting in Waterford on Monday night to discuss ideas for a proposed new state park. 

Artondra Hall / Creative Commons

The team that will work to develop a new state park at the former Seaside Regional Center in Waterford will be introduced on Monday evening.

Library of Congress

Connecticut officials are celebrating congressional approval of a new national park in Hartford centering on the historic Colt firearms factory building with the blue, onion-shape dome. 

NYC Council Considers Car Ban For Central Park

Oct 9, 2014

New York City’s Central Park may soon be free of cars.

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

Artondra Hall / Creative Commons

Connecticut is establishing its first shoreline state park in 50 years.

claumoho / Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 


Frederick Law Olmsted, recognized as one of the greatest landscape architects from the U.S., is perhaps best known for contributing to the design of New York City's Central Park. He was also a Connecticut native, and was raised in Hartford's North End -- where he is also interred, in Old North Cemetery.

The Friends of the Earth Middle East

A team of Yale Architects is lending their expertise to the first ever peace park in the Middle East.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Figuring out ways to bring more people to the city of Hartford has been a long-time work in progress. One plan to do that is called iQuilt, and one of its goals is to make the city more walkable. One aspect of it is facing opposition.

Chion Wolf

This show originally aired May 24, 2011. We're reposting it here, along with Chion Wolf's photos, because of the death last week of the 33-year-old beluga whale Naku.

We’re On the Road again! Today we take you to Mystic Aquarium in Stonington, Connecticut. We’ll explore the fascinating lives of whales, penguins, sharks, seals, sea lions—all the wonders of the undersea world. We’ll talk to scientists, trainers, educators, and explorers—and a few marine mammals will talk to us (and you)! And don't miss Chion Wolf's amazing photographs of our day at the Aquarium!

write99 / Creative Commons

From the glistening Hammonasset shoreline to the winding paths of the Blue-Blazed trails, Connecticut is home to 139 of the most beloved parks and forests in our region.

From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.

The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.

The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."

Chion Wolf

New Havenites reclaiming a beautiful park in their city got us thinking about urban parks in general. Frederick Law Olmsted is the undisputed father of American city parks, including Central Park itself. He came from Hartford, and he is buried here.

lanbullock68 Flickr Creative Commons

According to Wyoming's Game and Fish Department, there has been a 70 percent decline in migratory elk calf production in Yellowstone since 1992. For years, researchers suspected predatory wolves were to blame. Now, a new study details a more complex set of circumstances that account for the low calf numbers. 

City of Bridgeport

Many of Bridgeport’s residents are complaining that city plows never made it to their streets after last week’s blizzard. But once the snow melts, the city will be left to deal with the promise of more storms and danger to its coastline. That will be a challenge, since mayor Bill Finch has staked economic development on bringing people back to the water.

Connecticut has suddenly become the epicenter of the nation's gun control debate in a way no one there could have foreseen. The Newtown school shootings have brought calls for restrictions on firearms, in the state that once led the world in creating modern weaponry.

If you drive past Hartford on the interstate, you'll see the blue onion dome high atop the factory that once was the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company. The gunmaker has long since left its Hartford factory, but it still makes guns nearby.

The city of Hartford and the town of Farmington are working together to turn 86 acres of forested land into office space. The city owns about 1,000 acres of wooded property in Farmington, land it has had for nearly a century since it was acquired from the old Hartford Water Company.