HARTFORD – State Representative Melissa Ziobron (R-34) celebrated ‘Friends of Connecticut State Parks Day’ at the Capitol speaking with all the member groups in attendance. She was thrilled to welcome two in district organizations; Friends of Gillette Castle and Friends of Machimoodus & Sunrise State Parks. All across the state, ‘Friends’ groups volunteer to protect, support and maintain various state parks and step in where state assistance runs short. Rep. Ziobron has been a strong advocate for the state park and forest system and previously served as President of Friends of Gillette Castle State Park and she spearheaded the formation of the Machimoodus group. As a member of the Environment and Appropriations Committees Rep. Ziobron helped to create the new Passport to Parks program which eliminated all parking fees for Connecticut residents visiting statewide parks and provides a sustainable funding stream through additional vehicle registration fees. This has already led to parks being reopened for camping at Devil’s Hopyard State Park, added seasonal staff for trail maintenance and much desired fall camping opportunities at both of Connecticut’s premier beaches.