Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

September 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on Current Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 

Maurice K. Goddard, father of the Pennsylvania State Park system


From the Patriot-News, Harrisburg:

A multi-year project to raise awareness of the man that many refer to as the “father of Pennsylvania’s modern state park system,” the late Maurice K. Goddard, has been awarded the 2013 President’s Award from the National Association of State Park Directors.

Goddard served as one of the state’s leading advocates for conservation and the environment in the administrations of five governors from 1955-1979. During his tenure, the state park system doubled to 90 parks, fulfilling his vision of “a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian.”

Click here to read the entire story.


From the Cibola Beacon, Grants:

“We had to close the campground early because of vandalism,” reported Mount Taylor District Ranger Matt Reidy on Sept. 12.

The district is part of the Cibola National Forest and Grassland and provides five camping facilities for outdoor enthusiasts including hunters.

Apparently around the time of the Labor Day holiday one or more people destroyed the fee collection tube, often referred to as the “Iron Ranger.”

“Whoever did this used a heavy duty chain and a vehicle to pull the fee tube and its concrete pedestal out of the ground,” explained Reidy. “It was a malicious act.”

The facility has 15 sites and there is no limit to the number of campers per site. The district collects $5 per night per campsite, according to the ranger.

“We were forced to close the Coal Mine campground early this year because there was no way to collect the fees,” said Reidy.

The district has five campgrounds: Lobo Canyon, Coal Mine, Ojo Redondo, McGaffey, and Quaking Aspen. These facilities have been popular with hunters for decades, according to several public lands officials.

The District opens these seasonal campgrounds on Mother’s Day weekend each May and closes them by Sept. 15 explained the ranger.

“We are locking the gates today, Sept. 16,” said the ranger.

“Someone’s disrespect for property has forced us to close Coal Mine early,” emphasized Reidy. “We had to make this closure because there is no way to collect the camping fees.


From WOWT-TV, Omaha:

Last month, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission announced it would close nearly 30 state-run parks until next spring to deal with budget woes.

Now, the agency says community leaders are stepping up to keep some of those parks open.

The commission says local leaders have committed resources to keep open Pelican Point, Oliver Reservoir, Rock Creek and Cottonwood Lake state recreation areas. They are among the 29 state park areas targeted for temporary closure.

In addition, community leaders are working to provide staffing and funding to reinstate events this fall and winter at Arbor Lodge, Fort Atkinson and Buffalo Bill Ranch state historical parks, as well as Alexandria State Recreation Area.


From the Pensacola Business Journal:

Superintendent Dan Brown couldn’t wait to tackle a few eyesore issues when he took over Gulf Islands National Seashore in 2010. Among them, renovating the nondescript, 1960s-era Fort Pickens camp store to give it some much-needed character change.

“The appearance of that building has bothered me since before I started working here,” Brown said. “It was constructed when Fort Pickens was a state park. It’s not the quality or caliber of a facility we’d expect to see in our national parks. To be quite frank, that building is ugly, ugly, ugly.”

Plans to completely replace the camp store with a combination store, campground check-in and restrooms have been put on hold, with federal budget constraints what they are these days.

In the interim, and during the lull between summer and fall tourism, the seashore has contracted Sunrise Contracting Co. of Pensacola to give the building a facelift, basically covering the bricks with hardy board and making it look more like the other historic buildings in the Fort Pickens area of the seashore.

The $183,383 project also calls for replacing windows that have been boarded up since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, installing hurricane shutters and replacing the doors with handicap accessible doors.

With one summer under their belt, the new Fort Pickens concession operators, who have expanded offerings by adding bicycle, paddleboard, and beach chair and umbrella rentals, said they’re focusing on beefing up inventory inside the store while contractors update the outside.

The idea is to give campers everything they need to prevent them from having to make long trips into Gulf Breeze to shop.

The concession operators are also preparing for a busy fall camping season after they received permission to expand their rental services into November. The improvements to the camp store building will be a plus, Rayner said.


From the Durango Herald:

The fading popularity of hunting and fishing is catching up to Colorado’s wildlife agency, which needs to cut about $10 million out of its budget next year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife commissioners considered options to make cuts while keeping the agency running smoothly for hunters and anglers Thursday at a meeting in Montrose.

No cuts were finalized Thursday, but the governor-appointed Parks and Wildlife Commission told its staff to prepare to proceed with $9.9 million in cuts to the $80.7 million wildlife fund. The cuts include 17 full-time positions, some of which are vacant.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was formed two years ago from the merger of the Division of Wildlife and the State Parks division.

The $10 million shortfall is entirely on the wildlife side of the agency, Hampton said.

It’s a reversal of fortune from the time of the merger, when the parks division was assumed to be the weaker partner after struggling with low revenue for years.

“Parks (division) is actually in good financial condition,” said Randy Hampton, the agency’s spokesman.


From KGO-TV, San Francisco:

A fire that has burned more than 3,000 acres in and around Mount Diablo State Park over the past week has been 100% contained.

The Morgan Fire, which was initially reported around 1 p.m. Sunday off of Morgan Territory Road near the park and southeast of Clayton, was fully contained at 3,111 acres as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Cal Fire officials said.

Winds and dry vegetation helped fuel the fire, which prompted the evacuation of some 75 homes. Residents were allowed to return to their homes by Tuesday, according to fire officials.

Fire investigators have determined that target shooting in the area on Sunday caused the Morgan Fire.

Mount Diablo State Park is on track to partially reopen today, and crews are working to fix park trails and structures damaged in the blaze, according to park officials.

Click here to watch a video courtesy of KGO-TV.


From National Parks Traveler:

More than 100 earthquakes have shaken Yellowstone National Park since Sept. 10, with the strongest, a tremblor of 3.6 magnitude, felt Sunday (Sept. 15), according to the University of Utah Semisograph Stations.

The quake occurred at 9:53:02 a.m. Sunday; the epicenter of the shock was located in Yellowstone’s Lower Geyser Basin area, 8 miles north of Old Faithful, and 15 miles southeast of West Yellowstone.

According to the seismograph station, the swarm began Sept. 10 and has included quakes near Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and in an area northwest of Norris Geyser Basin.

“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred near the Lower Geyser Basin,” park officials reported. “Notably, much of the seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms. The University of Utah Seismograph Stations continues to monitor Yellowstone earthquakes and will provide additional information if the earthquake swarm activity increases.”


From The Associated Press:

West Virginians can pitch in at state parks through the next two weeks under the “Day to Serve” initiative.

This is the second year the state has been part of a multi-state effort to encourage more volunteerism. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources says the state parks are a great place to do your part.

At Cacapon Resort State Park, the Piney Ridge Trail needs a restoration, while trail work awaits volunteers at Blackwater Falls State Park. Also at Blackwater, a volunteer litter patrol will clean up around Pendleton Lake.

At Twin Falls State Park, volunteers can build or maintain biking trails.



Latest Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds

September 6, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks and Campgrounds 


One of the water features at Lone Star Yogi Jellystone Park in Waller, Texas.


From a news release:

Lone Star Yogi, a Jellystone Camp-Resort in Waller, northwest of Houston has completed construction on a $5 million park expansion. It is one of 14 Legacy RV Resorts.

The park added 57 full hook-up sites, 67 full-service cabins, a five-level play structure that can accommodate 180 children and an 18-hole miniature golf course. A lazy river and a 565-foot family slide were completed and opened during the summer season.  Existing amenities that were already in place include a 2,500-square-foot splash pad with various water slides, dump bucket and spray toys, an activities pool and a 350-foot Pine Tree Plunge waterslide.

The activities/crafts room was expanded by 4,800 feet, and a 1,280-foot store addition was also added.  An 115,000 kilowatt solar power system and other various outbuildings and supporting infrastructure were also part of the expansion.


From KWWL-TV, Dubuque:

Park directors from all across the country are meeting this week in Dubuque for the annual National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) conference.

On Wednesday, the more than 200 delegates — plus area students and volunteers — participated in a tree-planting ceremony at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area.

Conference topics range from technology in parks to budget challenges.

Priscilla Geigis, NASPD president, was at the tree-planting ceremony Wednesday.

“Today, not only does it celebrate America state parks, but it celebrates the men and the women and of course the kids that spend so much time and energy just preserving and enhancing our parks through our volunteer projects,” Geigis said, emphasizing volunteers’ importance to state parks nationwide.

She said the association helps preserve more than 14 million acres of land every year with 730 million annual visits, returning some $20 billion in economic impact to their respective communities.

This year’s conference in Dubuque runs through today.

The Dubuque Area Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the conference will benefit the area with a nearly $250,000 economic impact.

Iowa hosted the first-ever national conference for park directors 92 years ago in Des Moines.


From the Greenfield News, King City:

The first phase of the Yanks Air Museum Project, Yanks RV Resort, is now open for business. The recreational vehicle resort had a soft opening for Labor Day weekend and will remain open from now on. Even though the RV resort just opened, a variety of RVs have already stopped in to spend the night.

From the Marin Independent Journal:

Two campgrounds in the Point Reyes National Seashore tested positive for coliform bacteria in water in violation of accepted state levels earlier this summer.

The Glen and Wildcat campgrounds in the seashore tested positive for the contaminant in June. The two sites draw water from the same water tank, said John Dell’Osso, park spokesman.

That tank has since been drained and cleaned, and water samples have passed tests.

“We had no reports of anyone becoming ill,” Dell’Osso said, adding that the level of contamination was unlikely to make anyone sick.

The park routinely monitors its drinking water for contaminants. In June two of 12 samples tested positive for coliform bacteria. The standard is no more than one. The samples were tested further and no fecal coliform or E. coli were found.

But the drinking water did exceed the maximum contaminant level allowed for total coliform bacteria under state rules. While the initial tests were performed in June, the park only got the results back last week, Dell’Osso said.

The water at each campsite is delivered from a single spigot.


From the Billings Gazette:

The boardwalk section of the Trail of the Cedars near Avalanche Creek in Glacier National Park remained closed Tuesday (Sept. 3) after a storm late last week did minor damage to several locations on the park’s west side.

Park officials said several vehicles near campgrounds and trailheads sustained damage from falling tree debris during the Thursday storm, as did a park-owned structure near Lake McDonald Lodge.

No injuries were reported. The weather brought lightning, rain and wind.

Tree and rock debris had to be cleared from Going-to-the-Sun Road the next day. Damage to a wooden deck and handrail at Red Rocks Overlook on Going-to-the-Sun will also be repaired. The overlook is currently closed due to ongoing construction activity on the road itself.

Hikers and rangers have reported numerous downed trees on several trails, including the Apgar Lookout Trail, Flattop Mountain Trail, Granite Park Trail near the Loop, and the Harrison Creek Trail.


From the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan:

Thanks to a cool start to this year’s camping season, state officials are looking at a potential drop in visitors to the Lewis and Clark Lake area for the second time in three years.

Through the end of July, camping numbers for the entire district were down 4.4% compared to last year, including a 3.7% decrease at Lewis and Clark Recreation Area.


From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Myakka River RV Resort LLC, a Vero Beach company managed by James B. Cain, sold an 82-space mobile home park on 28 acres at 10400 Tamiami Trail in North Port to Myakka River Resort LLC for $2.575 million.

Cain’s company paid $3.1 million in September 2006.

Myakka River Resort, a Chappaqua, N.Y. company managed by Robert Kurens, financed its purchase with a $1.85 million loan from Intervest National Bank.



State Park Execs Assembling in Iowa Sept. 3-6

August 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on State Park Execs Assembling in Iowa Sept. 3-6 

Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors

For decades to come, a woodland walk in Dubuque, Iowa, will provide a leafy reminder, of the value and beauty of trees. Not just any trees, but the state trees of each of the United States, planted by the states’ park directors themselves, during their 2013 annual conference in Dubuque.

Coming together Sept. 3-6, the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) will discuss future trends in outdoor recreation; technology, park visitation; partner opportunities and other challenges to keep state parks accessible to the public, according to the Daily Register, Oelwein, Iowa.

NASPD President Priscilla Geigis notes that the group preserves more than 14 million acres, with 730 million visits a year… returning about $20 billion in economic impact to the communities they serve.

The public highlight will be 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 4, as more than 40 state park directors, and 180 students and other volunteers plant their state trees, adjacent to the E. B. Lyons Interpretative Center, at the Mines of Spain Recreation Area. Iowa’s climate can support trees from 46 states. The remaining four states’ trees will be represented on one of the 18 tabletop instructional panels highlighting the project.

The State Tree Woodland Walk is part of a larger development to expand nature studies, with a half-mile paved trail, picnic shelter, restroom, youth group camp area, overlook classroom and additional parking, when completed.

Iowa has hosted the conference twice, including the first session, in 1921. It and the 1971 conference were in Des Moines. This time around, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) parks bureau chief Kevin Szcodronski felt northeast Iowa should be showcased.

“We are very familiar with what Dubuque has done; reclaiming the Mississippi River and its recent river related development,” relates Szcodronski. “Plus, Northeast Iowa offers a surprising element, with its woodlands and bluffs. We want to introduce a lot of people to that.”

Based at Dubuque’s riverfront Grand River Center, the conference closes Sept. 6. Before then, delegates tour three northeast Iowa state parks; Cedar Rock, Backbone (Iowa’s first state park) and Pikes Peak. The final stop of the conference will be a dinner cruise on the internationally significant Mississippi River.

Click here to learn more about the NASPD.

‘America’s State Parks’ Seeking ‘Ambassadors’

August 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on ‘America’s State Parks’ Seeking ‘Ambassadors’ 

America’s State Parks announces its plans to recruit 2,000 new State Park Ambassadors.

America’s State Parks is seeking young adults between the ages of 16 and 28 who enjoy the outdoors and like to write, blog, take pictures or videos and use social media to communicate, according to a news release. Many outdoor gear prizes are being offered to new Ambassadors during summer and fall, 2013 as incentives to join the movement. National project sponsors include the Coca-Cola Foundation and Stihl Inc.

Joe Elton, director, Virginia State Parks and president of America’s State Parks Foundation, says: “We need to recruit advocates for healthy outdoor recreation in our nation’s state parks. The America’s State Parks Ambassador Program addresses that need.”

About the America’s State Parks Ambassador Program

The State Park Ambassador Program is a youth-led movement started in 2010 that promotes and supports our national system of state parks, encourages healthy active outdoor lifestyles, connects people to nature and increases public awareness of the value of the almost 8,000 “close to home” state parks around the nation representing some of America’s most valued natural, cultural and historic treasures. Ambassadors have a chance to win prizes this summer and fall. The grand prize is a Camden 106 Old Town Kayak and accessories worth over $1,000, courtesy of Johnson Outdoors (Racine, Wis.). Details can be found at:

About America’s State Parks

America’s State Parks ( is an alliance of public and private organizations established in 2009 to promote and enhance the collective national treasure that is the great park system found across our 50 states. With nearly 8,000 units and nearly three-quarters of a billion annual visits, America’s state parks are vital to the American quality of life. Leadership and governance for America’s State Parks comes from members of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) representing every state and each region of the country. The Ambassador Program targeting young adults is America’s State Parks flagship program.

About the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD)

Comprised of 50 state park directors, the NASPD ( was founded in 1962. The mission of the association is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy.

About the America’s State Parks Foundation (ASPF)

The America’s State Parks Foundation is a tax-exempt non-profit organization created to energize the State Park movement working in collaboration with the America’s State Parks founding partners, state park agencies, their non-profit partners and other allies and supporters of parks. Visit:

Strategic Partner

Imperial Multimedia LLC, of Baraboo, Wis., co-founder of and strategic advisor to the America’s State Parks initiative and host of website, manages the America’s State Parks Ambassador Program. Imperial Multimedia ( has designed, developed and managed the America’s State Parks website on a pro bono basis since its inception.

Joe Elton

Joe Elton, president of the America’s State Parks Foundation, past president of NASPD and current director of Virginia State Parks, says: “We need to recruit advocates for health-enhancing outdoor recreation in our nation’s life-enhancing state parks. The America’s State Parks Ambassador Program addresses that need.

“Consider that 6 million children are obese, tens of millions have high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes is on the rise and more than 8 million children have asthma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted that this may be the first generation in modern history where kids may not outlive their parents. Inactive, sedentary lifestyles and a disconnect from nature and outdoor recreation are driving factors in all of this.

“We have a national crisis. It’s past time to do something about it and parks should be a natural ally in our fight to overcome these ills. Recent studies show that spending as little as five minutes outdoors has a positive impact on physical and mental health.”

America’s State Parks is grateful to two major corporations – Coca Cola and Stihl – that have joined ASP in promoting this program designed to impact millennial age youth who are the future leaders of our country. Their sponsorship supports young adults engaging in active, healthy lifestyles in our country’s state parks.


NASPD Expounds on Park Budget Shortfalls

May 29, 2013 by · Comments Off on NASPD Expounds on Park Budget Shortfalls 

Editor’s Note: The following news release comes from the National Association of State Park Directors.

National and state parks will be open for business this summer, but it won’t be business as usual: Washington’s sledgehammer budget cuts and fewer state dollars will result in overflowing trash cans, closed visitor centers and fewer Junior Ranger programs. Many vacationers will tread on runaway invasive plants, wait in long lines at park entrances and miss out on campfire talks.

Visitors will feel the effects of the spending cuts at some of the nation’s most revered natural and historic sites.

New Mexico has also felt the pinch. Earlier this month, the Forest Service announced that half of the 54 campgrounds, trail heads and picnic areas in the Santa Fe National Forest would have reduced services. Forest Service staff will be removing trash cans, locking restrooms and closing parking areas at select sites.

Almost 8,000 state parks across the nation attract more than 741 million visitors a year. Many had to cut staff and shorten hours when state revenues plunged during the recession. In states that are still struggling, those cuts have not been reversed. Meanwhile, the automatic federal budget cuts that took effect March 1 are tightening the squeeze: The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which in 2012 gave $42 million in matching grants to states, is taking a 5% sequestration cut along with the rest of the National Park Service.

Overall, sequestration will cut about $150 million from the National Park Service, which oversees 401 national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, seashores and other national sites in 49 states. The Park Service, which employs 22,000 people year-round, has instituted a hiring freeze that will leave 900 vacancies unfilled. In a normal summer, the Park Service hires an additional 10,000 people to handle the larger crowds. But this year, it will reduce that number by 1,000. The smaller workforce will result in less frequent mowing, sand-covered bike paths, messier restrooms and fewer interpretive programs.

State parks have been tightening their belts for several years, but some are in better shape than others, according to Philip McKnelly, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. Those with dedicated taxes or other stable revenue sources are faring considerably better than those that depend on money allocated by state legislatures from general funds.

“Most states are trying to operate in a more cost efficient manner,” McKnelly said. Some have closed parks, and reduced programs and functions like restroom and garbage maintenance. Others are seeking concessionaires and private operators to take over some services, he said.

Help from ‘Friends’

In some states, private help has made a difference. California was able to keep open all of its 280 state beaches, reserves and parks, thanks to more than $3 million raised by private donor groups and discovery of a misidentified $20.5 million state account. Up to 70 parks escaped closure, state officials said.

But private donations and partnerships with nonprofit groups to keep parks open are stopgap solutions, said Jerry Emory, communications director for the California State Parks Foundation. “A lot of these organizations have been stretched thin as they stepped up to really increase the amount of fundraising they were used to,” he said.

Even with the private help, visitors to California’s state parks will find maintenance reductions and reduced operating hours. Five hundred fewer rangers, environmental scientists and other workers will be on the job, said Department of Parks and Recreation spokesman Roy Stearns. Some parks are experimenting with hourly fee machines to attract people who don’t want to pay a full-day rate for shorter park trips.

In Washington state’s 117 parks, there will be fewer workers, shorter hours, fewer interpretive programs and more deferred maintenance, said Virginia Painter, public affairs director for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. A new entrance fee – $10 per day and $30 for an annual pass – has generated only about half of the projected revenue, requiring other reductions to meet the legislature-imposed cuts.

The park directors association estimates visitors to state parks pumped more than $20 billion into surrounding communities in 2010.

The conditions at national parks also will vary. At Grand Canyon National Park, for example, the visitor center will open an hour later and close an hour earlier, and fewer entrance workers will lead to longer lines at the gates. “We have said for a long time we’ll continue to do more with less. We’re beyond that. We’re going to do less with less,” said park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge.

Yosemite National Park is absorbing much of its $1.8 million reduction by leaving about 20 management vacancies open, said park spokesman Scott Gediman. Visitor centers will close an hour earlier, at 5 p.m. Visitors will be on their own to see the towering sequoias at Mariposa Grove, with no Yosemite rangers leading walks amid some of Earth’s largest living things.

Stihl Inc. Helping State Park Staff Training

February 20, 2013 by · Comments Off on Stihl Inc. Helping State Park Staff Training 

State park employees who attended classes at the Oglebay National Training Center through scholarships from Stihl Inc.

Stihl Inc. continued its support of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) through its sponsorship of the NASPD Leadership School at the Oglebay National Training Center in West Virginia.

The company provided a scholarship fund affording 15 state park staff from across the country the opportunity to participate in this unique school, according to

In the five years it has funded the scholarship, Stihl, the first and only corporate sponsor of the school, has enabled a total of over 50 park personnel from more than 15 states to attend.

“America’s State Parks are truly among our country’s greatest natural treasures,” said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for Stihl Inc. “Managing these parks is more challenging than ever, which makes training programs like this one extremely important.”

Facing a shortage of qualified managers in the state park system, the NASPD education program was developed as a two-year training program that consists of both distance education and on-site classes to educate future leaders of state parks. This year, 50 first-year participants and 44 second-year participants were enrolled – the highest attendance to date for the school. Stihl established the scholarship fund to enable park personnel from states facing budget cuts to attend.

“Stihl knows the value of leadership and we are grateful for their ongoing commitment to the State Parks Leadership School, said Priscilla Geigis, NASPD president. “Their generous support benefits the public and our natural and cultural resources by assisting park professionals from across the country and fostering the next generation of leaders for America’s state parks.”

To learn more about the program, please visit


NASPD Recognizes State Park Contributors

September 11, 2012 by · Comments Off on NASPD Recognizes State Park Contributors 

At its annual meeting in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 6, the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) recognized the contributions of individuals, non-profits and public agencies for their support of state parks and state park systems across the nation, according to a news release.

“It is truly a privilege to honor people who are so passionate about America’s State Parks that they devote their time, talents and resources to protecting and enhancing them for all to enjoy. We value and celebrate their unique contributions not only in their home states, but across the nation,” said NASPD President Priscilla Geigis.

Priscilla Geigis, president of the National Association of State Park Directors

President’s Award winners were:

  • The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. This 6,500-member organization whose mission is to protect Iowa’s land, water and wildlife has worked to add over 3,000 acres to the Iowa state park system over the years. Through their efforts, Stone State Park in the Loess Hill country of Iowa has expanded by nearly 40 percent. This special landscape is visited by over 200,000 visitors annually.
  • The Friends of Audubon State Park, Kentucky. The Friends have worked to improve, preserve and expand this historic park through work parties, fund raising, events, and acquisition of property. The park which houses collections of paintings and works of John James Audubon was recently expanded by 649 acres through the generosity of six of its members. Committed to ensuring that visitors of all abilities have access to the treasures this park holds, the Friends are working with park staff to provide trails accessible to all.
  • Ellen Arnold, Friends of Upton State Forest, Massachusetts. As the founder of the Friends of Upton State Forest, Ellen Arnold’s zeal, passion and enthusiasm for the story of the Civilian Conservation Corps and its role in creating Upton State Forest is exemplified through her efforts to carry this story to school children and the local community. She believes through education and understanding others will share her passion for preserving this unique treasure and all of our state parks.
  • Michigan State Parks. In a partnership established with Merrill, the outdoor shoe manufacturer, Michigan State Parks created a program that introduces and engages kids and families to outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, photography, geo-caching, birding, and many others. Merrill and Michigan State Parks have introduced a whole new generation to the healthful benefits and fun of outdoor recreation at over 400 events.

The Ney C. Landrum Park History Award, named for retired long-time Florida State Park director and author of several books about the state park movement, is awarded to individuals or organizations whose research and study have made a significant contribution to the historical record of a state park, a state park system, or the state park movement nationally. Two awards were presented:

  • Fort Miles Historical Association, Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware. The Association has raised funds and contributed the skills and talents of its members to restore this coastal defense site at Cape Henlopen State Park and to create a museum showcasing military history of the Cape. They also acquired a naval gun from the battleship USS Missouri for display and conduct firing demonstrations for the public. Their work has brought history alive.
  • Dr.Dave Brauner and Oregon State University. Over nearly a decade, the Oregon State University (OSU) through Dr. Dave Brauner and doctoral candidate Mollie Manion have been working with Oregon State Parks to build the historical record of “the birthplace of Oregon” at Champoeg State Historic Area. Through field schools conducted by the OSU Archaeology Department, digs have revealed a rich treasure of artifacts that have challenged how historians think about Euro-American settlers of this site and how they lived. This summer, nearly 1,000 visitors observed the students excavating the site and documenting their finds and learned of treasures and history of this significant site.

Several recipients were on hand to accept the awards.

The National Association of State Park Directors is a non-profit organization of state park directors whose mission is to promote and advance the state park systems of America for their own significance, as well as for their important contributions to the nation’s environment, heritage, health and economy. NASPD under the banner of America’s State Parks sponsors “First Day Hikes” in state parks nationwide on New Year’s Day.

The National Association of State Park Directors



State Parks Promote New Year’s Day Hiking Activities

December 5, 2011 by · Comments Off on State Parks Promote New Year’s Day Hiking Activities 

Ruth Coleman

All 50 state park systems will sponsor free, guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2012.

America’s state parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on Jan. 1, 2012, at a state park, according to a news release.

“What better way to kick off the New Year than with a hike at a state park?” said Ruth Coleman, president of the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). “Think of it as the start of a new and healthy lifestyle, for the whole family. Whether you’re staying close to home or traveling, join us at one of America’s State Parks on New Year’s Day.”

“Studies have proven that getting outdoors is one good way to relax and recharge the body, mind and spirit.” stated Phil McNelly, NASPD’s executive director. “We hope that hiking along a trail in a state park will become part of an individual’s or family’s regular exercise routine.”

America’s state parks boast a variety of beautiful settings for year-round outdoor recreation, and each First Day Hike will offer an opportunity to explore the unique natural and cultural treasures close to home. From California to Maine, hikers can climb hills and mountain tops, walk along ponds and beaches, and traverse trails through forests, fields and prairies. Visitors can listen to birds, breathe in the fresh air, discover wildlife tracks, feel the wind and the warmth of the sun or the coldness of the snow. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the quiet beauty of nature in winter, experience spectacular views and vistas and benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide.

First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Mass. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks. Many other states have offered outdoor recreation programs on New Year’s Day. However, this is the first time all 50 state park systems have joined to sponsor First Day Hikes.

State park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes, which average one to two miles or longer depending on the state park. Details about hike locations, difficulty and length, terrain and tips regarding proper clothing are listed on the America’s State Parks website. Visit and click on your state of interest to find a First Day Hike nearest you.

State Park Directors Reach Out to ARVC

September 9, 2011 by · Comments Off on State Park Directors Reach Out to ARVC 

The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) has formally extended membership to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and its members.

The vote was taken Thursday at its annual conference held at Custer State Park in South Dakota.

(Due to a source error, erroneously reported that the matter would be discussed on Wednesday.)

According to a report from Philip McKnelly, NASPD executive director, the NASPD board of directors voted to approve affiliate membership and accept ARVC as an associate member.

A Memorandum of Mutual Support was signed by NASPD and ARVC officials following the announcement to the representatives of 46 member states present.

“Folks were pleased to see the relationship working out,” McKnelly reported, summarizing casual comments he heard after the announcement. “From our standpoint every state (campground) association will be encouraged to get involved.”

NASPD membership dues for affiliate members is $400 annually. NASPD’s fiscal year begins Nov. 1.

Ruth Coleman

Ruth Coleman, California state park director, began her two-year term as NASPD president during the meeting, succeeding Joe Alton of Virginia.

Other issues discussed at this week’s conference included the role of parks in health and fitness, connecting children to nature and using partnerships and innovations to address funding challenges.

The NASPD is comprised of state park directors from all 50 states as well as U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico.The NASPD action comes following an earlier announcement that ARVC was opening up its membership to state parks on a trial basis for the remainder of this year. Several states, notably California, have indicated they would join ARVC.

State Park Directors Eye ARVC at South Dakota Conference

September 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on State Park Directors Eye ARVC at South Dakota Conference 

Meets next week in South Dakota

The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) is holding its 2011 national conference today (Sept. 6) through Friday at Custer State Park in South Dakota.

NASPD’s event takes on added significance this year because members will be voting on a proposal to extend full NASPD membership to the National Association of RV parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

The NASPD vote comes on the heels of an agreement announced July 8 to extend free membership in ARVC to NASPD members on a trial basis for the remainder of this year.

The NASPD members will discuss ARVC state park memberships on Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon Mountain Time.

Click here to see a copy of the convention agenda.

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