News from Augusta: Free day use at state parks

Thu, 06/02/2022 - 7:45pm

You may have heard in the news recently about the upcoming “Residents’ Day” at Maine State Parks. Gov. Janet Mills has waived day use fees for Maine residents at our parks and historic sites on Sunday, June 19. This a great opportunity for families to enjoy the outdoors and maybe explore a park you’ve never been to before.

There are several wonderful state parks within and close to Waldo County that you can access for free on this day. These parks include Warren Island State Park off of Islesboro, Lake St. George in Liberty, Moose Point State Park in Searsport, Swan Lake State Park in Swanville and Camden Hills State Park in Camden. I hope you are able to take advantage of this opportunity to explore parts of our great state this summer.

As you head off to enjoy Maine’s great outdoors, please be aware that the free admission is for day use and does not include camping fees. There are several locations where the free admission is not in effect, including Scarborough Beach State Park, Acadia National Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Baxter State Park, Peacock Beach, the Maine Wildlife Park, Swan Island, Fort Knox Historic Site, the Penobscot River Corridor and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect.

As you enjoy your time outdoors, remember to take some precautions, such as protecting against Lyme disease. According to the Maine CDC, we had 1,118 cases of Lyme disease reported in 2021. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. The CDC recommends wearing long sleeves and light-colored clothing, which makes it easier to spot ticks on you, and performing daily tick checks after being outdoors. They also suggest using EPA-approved repellants such as deet on your clothing and shoes. Additional tick-related information can be found atwww.maine.gov/lyme

Another thing to prepare for is water safety. I’m looking forward to more time on the water this summer. From my many years as a merchant marine, I know firsthand that things can happen quickly when you’re out from shore. Warmer weather may be here, but the water is still very cold and your best bet is to wear your lifejacket. Reading the news about the Cumberland County Sheriff who nearly drowned a few weeks ago was a good reminder that even strong swimmers can fall victim to frigid waters.

I hope that you are able to enjoy the summer months ahead. As always, please feel free to contact me with your questions and concerns. I also send out periodic e-mail updates throughout the year. If you would like to receive these updates, please let me know by e-mailing me atStanleyPaige.Zeigler@legislature.maine.gov.

Rep. Paige Zeigler, D-Montville, is serving his third term in the Maine House and is a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. He represents the communities of Belmont, Liberty, Lincolnville, Montville, Morrill, Palermo and Searsmont.