Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Threatened State Parks will likely remain open!
There was positive news over the weekend regarding the fate of nearly two dozen Florida parks and historic sites threatened with closure due to budget issues.
Many of the parks have been in operation for decades and the list includes some of the state's most significant archaeological and historic sites.
Among the state parks threatened with temporary or permanent closure, for example, are San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park (seen here), Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park and many others.
The good news, however, is that Governor Charlie Crist has included funding for all of the threatened parks in his proposed budget. A spokesman for the governor's office indicated that public support for the parks was evident and the governor hoped to keep them all open.
The announcement represents an important breakthrough in the fight to save the parks. Many have questioned the logic of closing state parks to save money when Florida's budget has more than doubled in just the last ten years. Most of the parks operate on very tight budgets with minimal staffing and yet still generate significant economic returns for the communities where they operate.
I'll keep you updated as more news becomes available. In the meantime, if you have a position on this issue, please voice it to your local state representatives and senators.