Sherwood Island State Park

Location: Sherwood Island State Park

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Location Description

Sherwood Island State Park is located in Westport, CT, and carries the distinction of being Connecticut's oldest state park. Established in 1914, it is located right on Long Island Sound and boasts 235 acres of marshes, beaches, fields, and tidal creeks. “This park is made up of 235 acres of land, and is visited by 800,000 people a year,” said Jim Beschle, a park supervisor for Sherwood Island. He also said the area was an onion farm before it became a park. The park has a new Nature Center that is equipped with aquariums, terrariums and touch tanks that house a variety of native organisms such as horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, and oysters. There is also a 9/11 monument located at a point on the beach where visitors used to be able see the World Trade Center across the Sound. The monument honors Connecticut residents who lost their lives on 9/11.

Visit: East Beach
At Sherwood Island State Park, we met up with Park Supervisor, Jim Beschle, who took us to East Beach to shoot his interview. East Beach was a scenic strip of surf and sand. Many visitors were taking advantage of the day's good weather on the beach. During the interview, Jim told us that Sherwood Island was Connecticut's first state park and that the area used to be an onion farm. After the interview, Jim took us to the park's new Nature Center where Naturalist, Alan Berman, showed us a variety of Long Island Sound animals. At the Center's Touch Tank, we were able to hold horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, and oysters. The Center also had a photographic display of the different species of birds that inhabit the area. There were also aquariums that housed several types of native crustaceans, fish, turtles, snakes, and marine flora. After the Media Lab Staffers were through playing with the different animals at the Nature Center, Jim took us on a to the 9/11 Memorial that was located at a different beach. After crossing a parking lot, we walked along a gravel path that went past a pavilian that was a few feet away from the rocky coast where visitors used to be able to see the World Trade Center across the Sound. The 9/11 Monument was a few feet down the path. I thought the monument was tastefully discreet. You would not know it was on the beach if it weren't for the brown street sign that alerted you to its presence. In the lawn by the gravel path, a tree and a headstone marks two rows of granite blocks engraved with the names of Connecticut residents who lost their lives on 9/11. I was impressed by the resources that are open to the public at Sherwood Island State Park. The Nature Center is a great place for children of all ages (and children at heart) to get up close and personal with Long Island Sound's wildlife and the beaches are a great place to relax and enjoy nature. -Julia Kwon

Interviewer: Sara Ponticelli

Videographers: Paul Pfeffer, Sarah Krauss, Sarah Furie, Julia Kwon

Photographer: Sarah Furie

Editor: Julia Kwon

Animator: Sam Hockaday

Crew: Stephanie Merkel , Hannah Woodward

Manager of Online Content: Paul Pfeffer

Director of Online Services: Derrick Ellis

Web Designer: Lauren Nauheimer

Many thanks to Alan Berman and James Beschle, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

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