Friends of connecticut

state parks, inc.

Eileen Grant, Past President 

Eileen served as a tireless leader of FCSP for 8 years. She deepened FCSP’s partnership with DEEP and CFPA, and led a successful multi-year campaign to raise awareness of the lack of funding and need for additional staffing at Connecticut’s State Parks. Eileen is a landscape designer and sole proprietor of Latin Roots Garden Design in Madison CT. Her interest in historic gardens led her to Harkness Memorial State Park in 1996. She has volunteered at the park for 17 years, assisting with the restoration of the world renown Beatrix Farrand gardens, co-chairing the Friends of Harkness horticulture committee and organizing its Annual Plant Sale. She served as President of the Friends of Harkness for four years (1999-2003) and is at present a member of its Board of Trustees. She joined the board of the Friends of CT State Parks in 2004, focusing her efforts on legislative issues. She remains active with Legislative issues.

In September of 2014, Eileen was recognized nationally for her efforts on behalf of Connecticut State Parks when she received the 2014 President’s Award by the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD).  The award is given each year to an individual or organization who has made an extraordinary contribution, innovation, and/or best practice at a state, regional or national level, furthering the goal of a system of state parks.


FCSP Board of Directors


Paula Schiller, Vice President

Paula served on the Board of FCSP for five years. Her optimism, generosity, energy and intellect made her a fierce but wise advocate for state parks. She gave countless hours of her time to try to protect our natural resources. She was an exceptional board member, but more importantly a dear friend to us all. She will be so missed by FCSP, colleagues in Hartford, and members of her "Friends home" at Hammonasset State Park.

In Memorium


Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner, CT DEP ~ Ex Officio

Susan has served as Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Conservation at DEP since April, 2008.  She is an avid gardener and outdoorswoman.  For more than twenty years, she has held a variety of environmental management and policy positions in both the public and private sector. She has been responsible for developing and implementing innovative public private partnerships, and for expanding educational programming and recreational opportunities in parks.  In her hometown of Harvard, MA, as a member of the Harvard Historical Commission she led the effort to develop design standards for historic buildings, and has served as Co-President of the Friends of the Harvard Public Library since 2004.

William Doheny,  FCSP Legislative Committee

William Doheny, DDS, a lifelong resident of Hamden, became a founding member of FCSP through his involvement with West Rock Ridge Association. He retired after practicing dentistry for 40 years. He is an active member of the community serving on numerous Boards and Commissions in Hamden including, Inland Wetlands, Natural Resources and Open Space, Historic Properties, Historical Society, West Rock Ridge Park Assoc. and the West Rock Ridge State Park Advisory Board. Bill’s crowning achievement was his involvement in creating the 1500+acre West Rick Ridge State Park.  Bill serves on the FCSP Board as the Legislative Chairman. He is married to wife Barbara and has two children and four grandchildren.

Pamela Aey Adams, President
Pam was born in Norwich, CT and currently resides in Colchester.  She is an active volunteer, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Friends of CT State Parks,  Mystic Country (Eastern CT Regional Tourism District) where she serves as the Chairperson and,  Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park.  She was also a member of the CT State Park Centennial Celebration Committee-2013-14 which helped to raise nearly $50,000 for the Centennial Celebration and the CT State Parks Centennial Commemorative Book.  Pamela serves on the America’s State Park Foundation as a Retiree member of the National Association of State Park Directors and, is a member of the Thames Maritime Heritage Park Board.   In her leisure time, Pam is a member of the Norwich Power Squadron (US Power Squadrons) – a boating education organization and the West Highland White Terrier Society of CT.  Ms. Adams was elected as a Justice-of-the-Peace in 1981 and continues to serve in that capacity.  Prior to her retirement in 2009, Pamela served as Director of Connecticut’s State Park system for 12 years and was a dedicated public servant with the CT Department of Environmental Protection; retiring after 33 years with that agency. Other Information: BA – Wittenberg University, MS University of Connecticut. Married to Thomas.

Eric Hammerling, Executive Director, CT Forest & Parks Association

Eric has been CFPA’s Executive Director since May, 2008 after serving for over five years as the Executive Director for the Farmington River Watershed Association in Simsbury. Eric holds an M.S. in Environmental Science/Range Management from U.C. Berkeley, and a B.A. in History from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Under Eric's tenure, CFPA worked to have the New England Trail designated as the most recent national scenic trail in the U.S. and the first in the northeast since the Appalachian Trail over 20 years ago.  Through his work at the Farmington River Watershed Association, Eric spearheaded the ongoing effort to designate the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook as Wild & Scenic Rivers. In his 21-year conservation career, Eric has also worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation on both coasts, the Center for Ecological Technology in Northampton, and for the late Congressman Silvio O. Conte who represented Western Massachusetts. In addition to serving on the Board of the FCSP, Eric currently serves on the Board for Rivers Alliance of Connecticut and Connwood as well as on the Steering Committee for the Working Lands Alliance and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council. 

Diana B. McMasters, Past President

Diana grew up exploring the woodlands surrounding her Waterford, CT home and studied Environmental Studies in college.  She worked in research and writing for Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine in the 1970‘s and is currently a technology teacher and coordinator at the ISAAC school in New London, CT. She began volunteering for CT State Parks in 1992 as the first elected president of the Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford. She worked to build the fledgling volunteer organization and led a successful campaign to restore the mansion and gardens at the estate. She served as president of FCSP for six years, traveling about the state to help create new local Friends groups. She currently works on membership and web page development for FCSP.

Sheila O’Neill, Secretary

Sheila has been the Secretary of FCSP for the past seven years. She is the past president of the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park (2007-2011) and is currently their vice president. During her tenure as president, she and the group focused on building their relationship with the DEP and construction of the Nature Center. Her interest in Long Island Sound hypoxia issues involved her with Save the Sound for twenty years and as President from 1997-2001.  Her interest in conservation and preservation was developed as the Executive Director of the Westport Historical Society for seven years (1994-2001).  Sheila is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Tom Tyler, Director, State Parks Division, CT DEP, Ex-officio

Tom is the Director of the State Parks and Public Outreach Division of the DEP, and serves on the FCSP Board as an Ex-Officio member.  Tom began his career working for DEP in the early 80’s in the State Parks Division.  For 5 years, Tom worked at several parks in the greater Hartford area, including Penwood, Stratton Brook, and Talcott Mountain State Parks.   Tom then worked for 10 years in the private sector, doing legislative advocacy for a number of clients, several focusing on environmental issues.  He returned to the DEP in 1997 to direct the department’s legislative program, working for each of the past five Commissioners, representing the DEP before the General Assembly on the department’s wide range of issues, including significant collaboration with the Friends in their legislative work.   Prior to becoming the Acting Director (later Director)Tom’s other duties for the DEP have included leading the Department’s Land Acquisition and Management Program, as well as the Indian Affairs program.

Marcella Wagner, former president and active member since 1992, died suddenly on August 10, 2012 after a heroic 10-year battle with lung cancer. Marcella  began serving as a volunteer with the State park system with the Friends of Harkness in 1992 and served as their president of the in 2004 and 2005. She coordinated the formal summer teas, and did extensive research into the many Harkness homes, their Pullman car, and uncovered the location of their yacht, the Stevanna. Marcella was an impassioned volunteer.  She most recently served as coordinator of the gift shop where she was able to express her artistic talents and her intimate knowledge of the Harkess legacy. Marcella served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Connecticut State Parks for four years. She will be missed for her creativity and her anything is possible enthusiasm.

Sally Harold, Treasurer

Sally Harold is the Director of River Restoration and Fish Passage for the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she has been employed for the last thirteen years. Sally works with colleagues in the Connecticut River Watershed and around Long Island Sound to develop and find funding for projects at priority barriers to allow fish passage upstream to important spawning habitat. In Connecticut, Sally’s been involved in over a dozen fish passage projects including three dam removals. She’s also been involved in dam owner outreach, legislative initiatives and regional conservation planning efforts for The Nature Conservancy.

Margot Burns, FCSP Board
Margot Burns is currently the Environmental Planner for the Lower CT River Valley Council of Governments where she coordinates the Lower CT River and Coastal Region Land Trust Exchange and recently led the development effort  of the Menunketesuck / Cockaponset Regional Greenway and its 2012 designation as a CT State Greenway.   Margot will be receiving her MS in Geography/Environmental Protection in December and holds a BA in Environmental Geography from Central CT State University.  She currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, as Secretary for the Eastern CT Resource, Conservation, and Development Area, and is a member of the Chester Conservation Commission.

Jay Willerup - Board of Directors

Jay joined the FCSP board this past year.  Jay started his tenure simply by offering his services in the visitors book at Heublein Tower.  He joined the Friends of Heublein Tower board of directors in 2002.  In 2009 accepted the position of Co-President of the board.  As an architect, Jay brings his interest in restoring buildings back to their original integrity.  His ability to gather support, secure materials and labor have led to many successful restoration/recreation projects at the tower.  He, other members of the board and the Park Manager have collaborated on many projects together, relying on their individual strengths and talents to accomplish daunting tasks.   Jay’s never afraid to be hands on, from bending copper for light fixtures to climbing up to the cupola to change the light bulb in the beacon.  Jay lives in Simsbury with his wife Tara and daughters Taylor, Maggie and Maeve.

Randy Miller, Founding President FCSP

Randy was a founding member of the FCSP in 1994, serving as its first President from 1994 – 2000, and then remained on the Board for several years in various capacities.  He returned to the FCSP Board in 2014.  For most of the past 30 years Randy has been a Board member of The Sleeping Giant Park Association (the oldest state park friends group in CT – 1924) and served as its President from 1990 – 1996.  Randy was also a member of the CT Forest & Parks Association Board and served on the CFPA Finance Committee. In recent years he has participated in lake oriented environmental activities as a member of the East Haddam Lakes Association; and in June 2014, presented at the New England Conference of the North American Lake Management Society.  Most recently, Randy is involved in development of a lake and watershed management plan for Lake Hayward.  Randy is a long-time officer of First Niagara Bank currently working in risk management.  In his spare time Randy enjoys hiking, running, sailing, and participating in dog agility with his Golden Retriever Tallie (she is the important half), qualifying for the AKC National Agility Championships the past six years.

Steve Fish

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