State of the state parks

Monday, 28th June 2010; 8:13 pm - Location:

There’s an article in today’s Detroit Free Press about Michigan’s state parks. It doesn’t paint a rosy picture, pointing out that many state parks across the country are closing, and that they’re all facing funding problems. Michigan’s parks no longer receive any tax-based funding, relying entirely on the fees they charge the people (such as I) who visit them and camp at them. They’re postponing repairs and updates, cutting back on expenses, and getting by with less staff.

But there’s good news in the article. None of Michigan’s parks have been closed. This is especially good news to me, because I’m rather fond of the smaller, more remote parks that would be the first to close if that had to happen. In fact, with people unable to afford trips overseas or even out of state, the parks are getting used more. And there are plans to improve Michigan parks funding by offering a less expensive day-use pass for the parks to all motorists in the state, which would spread the support costs around farther. So I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to keep taking scooter-and-parks trips like this for years to come.

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