Friday, April 29, 2005
$2 parking fee is back at Great Brook Farm
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) has reinstated the $2 daily fee for parking at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle effective April 15. The agency suspended collection of the parking fee last summer to reduce the combined impact on the ice cream stand of the parking cost and construction efforts that were underway at Great Brook Farm State Park in 2003 and 2004. Visitors to the ice cream stand will be allowed to park free of charge for 30 minutes.
Under the fee collection program, day visitors may purchase a parking ticket from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from an automated "pay and display" dispenser located at the two main parking areas. Regular users of parks throughout the state are encouraged to purchase the annual Massachusetts ParksPass, which can be used at any state park facility. This pass is available to Massachusetts residents for $35 and is on sale now at the Great Brook Farm park office.
The department says that the parking fees charged at DCR parks are an important source of financial support that returns over $4 million each year to the agency for needed improvements to parks, beaches and trails. They hope visitors to Great Brook Farm State Park "will embrace their role as park stewards and recognize that this nominal fee is critical to maintain this wonderful farm for generations to come."
No fees after 6 p.m.
To encourage ice cream stand visits the department is continuing to offer free parking for 30 minutes in a specally designated area of the parking lot. After 6 p.m., the parking machines shut down so that evening visitors can enjoy their ice cream while strolling on the park's trails. Parking fees are waived at all state parks for vehicles bearing a handicap plate or placard or a disabled veteran license plate. Senior citizens over age 62 are eligible for a senior citizen's pass that provides them with free parking access to all state parks. To promote Great Brook Farm visitation, and as part of the "Find Yourself in a State Park" interpretive program, school bus fees will be waived through the end of the current school year.
Since 2003, over $1 million has been invested by DCR in improvements to Great Brook Farm State Park. Included in these improvements has been a new educational center that is staffed by an interpretive ranger who began providing educational programming and tours of the dairy barn earlier this year. Other enhancements have included new restroom facilities, a pavilion area, expanded parking and major landscaping improvements.
© 2005 The