Monday, March 8, 2010

Parks hit in budgets

Lawmakers in at least a dozen states have contemplated the closure of up to 400 state parks this year, according to a National Association of State Park Directors survey, says Philip McKnelly, the association's executive director.

The exact number to be closed remains a moving target, he says, as budget negotiations continue and compromises such as reducing hours and cutting staff are made to avoid closures.

Government leaders are tempted to view parks as expendable, McKnelly says, although public recreation facilities are important during an era of unemployment and financial stress.

For some reason, lawmakers who appropriated the cost of building and opening parks never considered the continuing and explosive costs of operation and maintenance.

No comments: