Pachaug State Forest

Explore to beautiful woods of Pachaug State Forest

Pachaug State Forest in Voluntown, CT

Welcome to Voluntown

Welcome to Voluntown, CT Home of the Volunteers since 1721

A town rich with history

The Wylie School is home to the Voluntown Historical Society.

Farmer’s Market Volunteers Needed

Do you know of any middle school or high school students looking for community service hours? We have volunteer positions available at the Voluntown Farmers Market. Please contact for more information.


Market Cancelled Sunday August 22

Do to the impending storm Henri, the Voluntown Farmers Market is cancelled this Sunday, August 22.

Assistance for Businesses During the Covid-19 Pandemic


 Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund will open its application portal today, May 3rd, at 12:00 pm EST. Click here to access the Restaurant Revitalization Award Portal.

This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Registration with is not required. DUNS or CAGE identifiers are also not required.

Priority period

Days 1 through 21

SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants, but only process and fund priority group applications. See “Priority groups” below.

During this period, SBA will fund applications where the applicant has self-certified that it meets the eligibility requirements for a small business owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Open to all applicants

Days 22 through funds exhaustion

SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants and process applications in the order in which they are approved by SBA.

Read the RRF Program Guide for reference.


CARES Small Business Grant Program

The state has created the Connecticut CARES Small Business Grant Program to help small businesses and nonprofits that continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut with a 2019 payroll of less than $1.5 million OR 20 or fewer employees can apply for a one-time grant of $5,000. DECD will administer the program and online applications are estimated to begin the week of November 9. All funding will be disbursed by the end of the year.
Per Governor Lamont’s direction, half of the funds will be allocated to small businesses and nonprofits located in towns and cities that have been designated as distressed municipalities (Voluntown is a distressed community!). The program is funded from Connecticut’s portion of the federal CARES Act.
Additional information, along with eligibility requirements, can be found in the link below. DECD will also host webinars and online discussions in the coming weeks to assist businesses and nonprofits with the application process.

More Helpful Links for CT Businesses

Below are links to information on programs that have been set up to assist small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. This page is updated frequently, so check back:

5/19/20: Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Small Business Reopening Resource Guide

CT Business Reopening and Recovery Center: Reopen Your Business Self Certification

 5/11/20, Phase 1 Guidelines per Governor’s Office

Please Note: All businesses subject to these rules will be required to self-certify prior to opening on May 20. The certification system will be online beginning next week.

In addition, the state has established a new task force chaired by CRCOG’s Lyle Wray that will help small businesses understand and implement these new regulations. The task force will release a detailed guide by May 15 to help organizations implement the rules and open safely.

Protecting Restaurant Workers and Customers
The Connecticut Restaurant Association and health officials across the state have developed a set of recovery procedures – the Connecticut Restaurant Promise – which demonstrate that the restaurant has committed to take all necessary steps to protect their employees, customers, and their community. Review the CT Restaurant Promise document.
Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In addition, the Food & Drug Administration has published best practices for restaurants and other good pick up and delivery services, which are available here.
Outdoor Service of Alcoholic Beverages
Restaurants wishing to offer outdoor service of alcoholic beverages at their restaurant, bar, or other dining establishment, must obtain state and local approvals. The Patio, Extension of Use, And/or Additional Consumer Bar Application must be submitted to the state Department of Consumer Protection with the necessary local approvals, including zoning, fire marshal, and local health. Since many town offices are closed and officials are working remotely, DCP is accepting electronic signatures. DCP Notice regarding outdoor service of alcoholic beverages.

 Visit the DECD website for more information about COVID-19 Business Recovery. 

Businesses are required to post these Employees Rights posters. 

SBA Small Business Disaster Loan Applications are being accepted for agricultural businesses.

Corono Virus Memo #6 Revision, RE: Child Care

Covid-19 Youth Camp Guidance from the State of CT Office of Early Childhood posted 4/29/20

Covid 19 Guidance for Family Campgrounds (updated 4/29/20) from the State of CT Dept. of Health

Restaurant Strong grant relief is available for restaurant workers in CT.

Connecticut Office of the Arts announces grants available for Connecticut artists impacted by pandemic

 Recognizing that artists provide inspiration, connection, and education, particularly at times when the creative sector is needed most, the Connecticut Office of the Arts – a state office housed within the Department of Economic and Community Development – today announced that two grant programs have been created to help local artists negatively impacted by COVID-19. Applications will be accepted for both programs through May 4, 2020. For specific questions, artists should contact Tamara Dimitri at and teaching artists should contact Bonnie Koba at

  • The Connecticut Artists Relief Grant program will provide $500 grants to over 100 individual artists and teaching artists who live in the state and whose creative practices and income are being adversely impacted by the safety measures put into place to prevent the spread of the virus. The grant is partly funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts.
  • The Connecticut Artists Respond Grant program helps artists translate and present their art virtually. Individual or collaborative artists who create or have created projects that respond to the needs of the times by presenting art activities, classes, or other creative experiences online at no cost to the public will be eligible for $1,000 or $2,000, respectively.

The Department of Revenue Services (DRS) launched a one-on-one customer service program to help businesses and individual taxpayers understand what resources are available to them if they can’t meet their current collections obligations.

AdvanceCT partnered with CBIA and DECD to release the second iteration of its business survey to gather feedback directly from Connecticut businesses that will help inform how we restart our economy.

State of CT Coronovirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Business Resources webpage has information for businesses regarding the Governor’s Executive Orders. Also contains links to grants and funding options.

Covid-19: Tips for Small Businesses is a list of tips and resources to assist small businesses assembled by the CT Small Business Development Center.

The Save Small Business Fund is a grant making initiative offering short term relief for small business employers in the US and its territories. The application opens on April 2oth.

HEDCO/ DECE Covid-19 Business Response Program Line of Credit is available to businesses with fewer than 20 employees which are owned by women or by members of a minority group. The program provides a $20,000 loan over 12 months at zero interest and may be forgivable.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT  has a video of  a webinar on YouTube that explains the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act is a guide for owners on the Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus  has links to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and other SBA disaster loans.

Connecticut Small Business Development Center has information on the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), as well as other programs and grants for small businesses.

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT has compiled a list of grants and loans that are available for small businesses and non profits. 

Voluntown Farmers Market Now Accepting 2020 Market Season Applications!

now accepting vendor applications!

Voluntown Farmer’s Market Opening Day- July 14

Opening Day of the Voluntown Farmer’s Market is Sunday July 14. WCTY will be our guest!


EDC Special Meeting: How Can We Make Pachaug State Forest a Voluntown Destination?

A Special Economic Development Commission meeting is being held on Saturday, February 16, at 10:00AM in Town Hall Meeting Room with special guest Mark Darren of DEEP. View the agenda here.

How can we make Pachaug State Forest a Voluntown destination?

WE need your input. 

This Saturday 2-16-19 Town Hall meeting room 10 AM.


EDC NEWS – January 2019

The Voluntown Economic Development Commission is currently seeking several new commissioners and alternates. If you are a Voluntown resident and want to help please forward your letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen. We meet every 3rd Thursday of the month at 5:30 in the Town Hall.

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Mark Simmons as our fourth commissioner. 

 The 2019 Voluntown Farmers’ Market grant has been submitted to Connecticut Department of Agriculture in November. We are hopeful we will be awarded our requested $8,459.00. The total project costs are estimated to be   $15,173, with in-kind (EDC and volunteer hours) expenses of $ 5,450.00 and cash expenses of $ 1,264.00.

Our grant request includes our plan to use the grant money to help pay for the following:

  • Post cards (over 6,000 in our town and two neighboring towns), postage for the cards, handling charge for bulk rack card mailings. Referring to our Appendix B Budget this requested cost is estimated at $2,656 and our EDC Commissioner In-Kind match is $1,500. New Weekly Face book and periodic regional flyer Ad s. Referring to our Appendix B Budget is $495 requesting $315, our cash contribution of $60 plus In kind match of $125.
  • road side sign New Banners, Advertising our Market Events and specials. Referring to our Appendix B Budget we request $400 with our In-Kind match of $400.
  • Sunday Musician costs. Referring to our Appendix B Budget the cost is $1,125 we understand the DoAg will not consider contributing to this cost so our cash contribution is $1,125.
  • WCTY Radio Ads. Referring to our Appendix B Budget, we are requesting $3,950 with a of In-Kind match of $2,480.
  • Special Events-Bouncy House, Kids prizes, and on-site Opening Day live radio broadcast-`Roll’ N Radio Show’ (note $500 for this radio show is included in the WCTY request above and not duplicated here). Referring to our Appendix B Budget we are requesting $315, our cash contribution of $60 and In-Kind match of $120.
  • Our Market necessary support costs include the rentals of one portable toilet and one 10’x20′ storage container for our picnic tables, benches, signage, banners, our booth table, tent, and chairs which we set up and store every Sunday next to the Market area.  Referring to our Appendix B Budget we are requesting $320 for the portable toilet with a $300 In-Kind match., and request $590 for the storage container with our $500 In-Kind match.

In recognition of our Vendor and Patron response from our questionnaires we hope to increase patronage by:

  • Changing our Farmers Market time to start at 10 AM and close 2 PM.
  • attract more vendors: Jams & Jellies, Food Truck
  • Add more Village intersection signage.
  • Do a better job of advanced advertising our special events Use social media & FB more.
  • More patron seating & picnic tables.
  • Educational demonstrations.

Longer season-now planning to go into mid-October

Our expected goals and  outcomes  are:

  • to increase both the number of patrons by 5%.
  • to increase the number of Vendor sales by 5%.
  • to increase both the number of vendors by 15%.
  • Increase participation in the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program by 5%.

We thank the volunteers who stepped forward and helped set-up, monitor, Facebook promote each Market, assist at the EDC booth, and take down equipment tents, chairs, benches tables for many of the 15 Market Sundays.

We thank the Ct. Department of Agriculture again for their continued support in awarding us our requested grants.

The EDC continues to promote Voluntown as an outdoor recreational tourist destination with our annual printing and distribution of the VOLUNTOWN TRAILS MAP,  to surrounding camp grounds, motels, casinos, restaurants, at the Town Hall and Sundays at the Market.



  • The EDC meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 5:30 in the Town Hall meeting room. If you can not make a meeting, but would like to volunteer, please email us at 


EDC Commissioners: Jack Wesa, Tracey Hanson, Tali Soto and Mark Simmons.

EDC Meeting Time Change Starting January 2019

Starting in January, the EDC meetings will be starting at 5:30PM. Meetings are still hold on the 3rd Thursdays in Town Hall Meeting Room.

Commissioners Needed

The Economic Development Commission has 1 seated member vacancy, and 3 alternate member vacancies. The Economic Development Commission meets on the Third Thursday of every month (except July and August) at 5:30PM in Town Hall Meeting Room. The mission of the Voluntown Economic Development Commission is to foster economic development in Voluntown and increase the tax base by retaining existing businesses and helping them grow, encouraging indigenous business start-up, and recruiting light industry. The Voluntown EDC currently sponsors the Voluntown Farmers’ Market. The EDC is working on several projects that promote Voluntown as an outdoor recreation tourist destination.  Alternate members are needed to fill the seats of seated members when needed for a meeting quorum. For more information the Economic Development Commission, visit the EDC website and/or visit the next meeting on January 17 at 5:30PM in Town Hall Meeting Room.