CM Gardner State Park a DCR property in Huntington is rich with history, more than you may know. The Charles M. Gardner State Park has been a Home and Community Service project of Highland Grange, first started at the suggestion of Mrs. Charles M. Gardner (1955), and taken into the family of State Parks on June 2, 1959 under the chairmanship of Mrs. Muriel Gibbs. Dedicated to Charles M. Gardner, Master of the State Grange. When the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield began to attract large numbers of Grange members from all over New England and the Middle Atlantic States, it became apparent that a place should be prepared for their convenience. Mr. Gardner’s fertile imagination went to work. He conceived the idea of a New England Grange Building serving the six New England States. Each State was to finish and furnish a room of its own typifying its special colonial nature and unite in the large hall with the stage and cheerful fireplace for relaxation and rest. The result is the beautiful Grange Building so many thousands of Patrons are familiar with; having enjoyed its privileges since its dedication in 1938. A ceremony took place here in 1963 to honor Gardner.

Present day: this state park has seen multiple closures due to trash/unruly behavior as it was jam packed full of summer goers from afar. In 2019, we brought then DCR Commissioner Leo Roy to this park to encourage the state to re-open this park with parking restrictions and paid entry in effect (we also pushed for Windsor State Forest which also re-opened).

DCR re-opened this park two years ago. Gardner brochure courtesy of the Westfield Atheneum, photos by Karen and Liz.

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