The state's top environmental official will talk about the future of Connecticut's state parks during a presentation July 28 at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport.

Daniel C. Esty, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, will speak at 6 p.m. in the park's nature center. The program is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park and the Green Village Initiative.

Entrance to the park will be free at the time of the lecture. Lemonade and cookies will be served.

Esty's topic will be: "Connecticut Parks -- Back to the Future," the friends group said. He will talk about his plans and ideas for the future, including the greening of the state parks, maximizing social networking to attract visitors, and the rationale behind the new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. A question-and-answer period will follow.

Before his appointment in May, Esty was the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University. A leading expert on environmental strategy, according to the friends group, Esty has advised companies around the world on environment and sustainability issues.

He served as an advisor on energy and environmental issues for President Obama's campaign and as a member of his presidential transition team.

Esty wrote the prize-winning book, "Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage."

The park's nature center is between the East Beach and the salt marsh nature trail.

For more information visit the friends' website -- www.friendsofsherwoodisland.org -- or email info@friendsofsherwoodisland.org.