A state Environmental Police truck stands by the entrance to Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle Tuesday. Officers closed the ice-cream stand there Friday over alleged construction-permit violations. SUN / BOB WHITAKER
CARLISLE -- Looking to hit the spot with a savory ice cream at Great Brook Farm State Park this week?
You may be out of luck.
The park's popular ice-cream stand was unexpectedly shut down by state officials over the weekend, after the stand's operator made building improvements at the site without getting permission first.
Mark Duffy, who has operated the dairy farm at the state-owned park for 26 years and has a lease with the state to run the stand, said armed Environmental Police officers showed up at stand on Friday evening and stood guard throughout the weekend, turning away customers craving delectable sundaes and frappes.
To make matters worse, said Duffy, the shutdown happened right before the sunny Mother's Day weekend.
Edward Lambert, commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the stand was closed after it was discovered construction had been done without local or state permits. The work, which expanded the stand, included construction on a barn built in 1910 that is adjacent to the stand, he said.
Lambert said he is trying to protect the public's health and safety while tests are conducted at the site.