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Carver Cut Campground Damage into Beauty

August 30, 2013 by · Comments Off on Carver Cut Campground Damage into Beauty 

The blue heron, carved with a chain saw at Odetah Camping Resort in Connecticut.

Click here to watch a video on the following story, courtesy of WTNH-TV, Providence, R.I.

A Bozrah, Conn., campground has found a way to preserve a landmark tree, even though it was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

An artist was brought in to work his magic at Odetah Camping Resort.

“It’s 90% chain saw and I use smaller power tools like grinders, sanders and dremels. That sort of thing for details,” said Kris Connors.

“I’m looking for knots,” said Connor, Custom Wood Carvings and More. “I’m looking for things that would get in the way of the face, that kind of thing.”

His first sculpture was a blue heron. The resort then commissioned him to carve this work after the 80-foot Eastern white pine was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

“It put a very good split down the center of this tree, which really made this a dangerous tree to have in a parking lot of course,” said Nate Adelman, Odetah Camping Resort.

The tree was cut down, leaving a 25-foot section.

“I had to base my design around that split,” said Connor.

If you take a close look, you can see where some foam was put in the crack in the tree and Connors will also be adding some roofing cement on top of that. That’s all so this winter no ice gets in that crack and splits the tree even more.

The sculpture reflects the wooded wonderland in more ways than one.

“We got an eagle, an owl, squirrel, a family of ducks, ” said Connor, “and I tried to incorporate animal families because it’s a family campground.”

If you want to get a look at the sculpture it’s in the parking lot of the resort’s miniature golf course, so it’s open to the public.

 

Around the USA Over This Holiday Weekend

May 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on Around the USA Over This Holiday Weekend 

Entrance to the KOA Campground in Grand Island, Neb.

Editor’s Note: Following are brief comments from RV park and campgrounds sources from around the U.S. reporting on the just-concluded Memorial Day weekend.

At the Grand Island KOA campground in Nebraska, Corie Lubash spent time with family during the holiday weekend.

“And so we come out here and grill and have a good time soaking our feet in the pool,” Lubash told KOLN-TV, Lincoln.

For them, Memorial Day Weekend is an important one, and something they look forward to each year.

For campground owners Wayne and Sue Bates, the holiday weekend meant making sure campers are happy.

“They’re planning this a month ahead of time or better,” said Wayne Bates.

Bates says the majority of their business consist of walk-ins during the camping season.

“But for this weekend people will try to make that reservation or call ahead,” said Bates.

The only concern they have is the weather.

“We just hope the weather clears up a bit and gas prices go down a bit. And we’ll have a fun season,” Bates said.

Kids walk along the beach at Holland State Park in western Michigan.

In Michigan, it didn’t matter that the weekend started off cool. The Holland State Park campground was full anyway, because if tradition is to welcome in summer on Memorial Day weekend with a quick camping trip, then it must be done, the Holland Sentinel reported.

One large group of seven local families — the Nashes, Skaags, Schuurs, Cooks, Lloyds, Maats and Greshaws — camp together about four or five times every year. The large brood, with a total of 19 children, ages 4 months to 17 years, and one on the way, always visits state parks. They like Holland because it’s close to home in case something was forgotten.

The group, some relations, some friends, cluster together in a large area of the park, they like the time together. Seriousness was left at home. They focused on laughing and relaxing while the children spent all day playing on the playgrounds, riding bikes and working on their talent show. Saturday was also pot luck dinner night.

Around a curve, a small family from Wanatah, Ind., was camping. Tom and Carolyn Lewis first visited Holland about 15 years ago for their anniversary, having no idea what the area offered. They’ve been back several times, usually to camp at the state park. Last year, they remember it being so hot the water was steaming at the beach.

Every year they kick off summer with a three-day camping trip on Memorial Day weekend. Camping was something both did with their parents and continued with their children.

“You just got to get out,” Tom Lewis said.

“And it’s easier to camp when you have three days instead of two,” Carolyn Lewis said, adding places in Michigan are usually their destination. “We generally don’t go far. We live so close to Michigan. It’s so pretty.”

The couple came with one grown son and two granddaughters, ages 1 and 3, for the weekend. They got into Holland late Friday, with enough time to set up beds in their pop-up camper and get some sleep.

No Quake Damage at Campground

In California, the Red Bluff Daily News reported it was business as usual for campgrounds near the epicenter of Thursday night’s earthquake, according to Almanor Ranger District Recreation Officer Michelle Ahearn.

“District employees checked the campground facilities in the area of the earthquake, and there were no signs of damage,” said Ahearn. The campgrounds have not been affected by the earthquake, she added.

In New York, every last state park on Long Island was ready to go after Superstorm Sandy.

State park officials say they worried the parks would not be ready by Memorial Day, but hard work by state parks workers and contractors has paid off, News 12, Woodbury, reported.

Officials say workers still need to dispose of some of the 3,000 tons of garbage and debris that washed up on the beaches.

Officials say the last major project to be completed will be building a bridge on the running trails at Sunken Meadow State Park by fall to replace a natural bridge destroyed by Sandy.

In Vermont, camping reservations at Vermont’s 52 state parks poured in for the Memorial Day Weekend, despite rain in the forecast. Last year broke a 20-year record with more than 900,000 visits to the parks all year.

State Parks Director Craig Whipple says the State Park website has added some new bells and whistles to entice even more campers this year.

“We’ve got menu ideas, we’ve got ideas for activities, we’ve got checklists for how to plan, the gear to bring camping, and we’ve also done seven really fun videos,” Whipple said.

The website includes a scavenger hunt game, with free passes as prizes. Libraries also lend out passes. Whipple says camping hit a peak of popularity in the 1970s and ‘80s, and it’s making a comeback, especially when the economy takes a dive, or when there’s a tragedy.

“People are attracted to places like public parks when something awful happens,” said Whipple. “whether it’s to them personally or to our community or our country.”

Whipple says more people also flock to state parks when the sun shines. Last year’s weekend weather, he says, was usually great, and he’s hoping for a repeat forecast this year.

Map of the Tim Flock Campground at the Charlotte Motor Speedway

In North Carolina, campers at the Charlotte Motor Speedway discovered a new service this month: a new free All & Snuggle Laundry Pit Stop outside of turn No. 1 in the Tim Flock Campground.

While fans are washing their clothes, they can visit the family entertainment zone, which includes corn hole games for adults, games for kids, watch movies and eat popcorn.

“A lot of fans come in kind of skeptical, like what’s the catch,” Jody Bennett, the senior vice president for Aquarius Sports and Entertainment, said in a release. “They can’t believe it’s really free. But after we show them around and explain that it really, truly is a free service courtesy of All, Snuggle and Target, they love it.”

The laundry mat has been open for six hours a day since the track’s “10 Greatest Days of Racing” began last week.

The laundry mat provides free wash, dry, fold and delivery services. They’ve also been giving away coupons and Snuggle mini teddy bears and Snuggle products.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Bennett said in release. “And we haven’t even lost a sock.”

‘Dry Camping’

In Colorado, Memorial Day campers did not have the luxury of potable water at 10 Turquoise Lake Recreation Area campsites near Leadville due to frozen water lines, the Pueblo Chieftain reported.

The San Isabel National Forest campgrounds have experienced continued cold nights, keeping both the lake and water lines frozen. Campers were charged a reduced rate due to lack of water.

Campers brought their own water for drinking, washing and dousing campfires.

In Minnesota, the high gas prices might actually help Minnesota tourism.

According to a spokesperson from Explore Minnesota high gas prices won’t stop people from taking a summer trip, it just might mean they’ll stay closer to home, and spend closer to home, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis-St. Paul reported.

That’s good news for the state tourism industry. In a pre-season survey, 38 percent of state hotels, campgrounds and resorts expect to see higher occupancy levels this summer.

“Historically, we haven’t really seen a dip in travel due to gas prices. I think it actually encourages staycations, and our state has a lot of close-to-home getaways,” Alyssa Ebel with Explore Minnesota said.

Tourism is a $11.9 billion industry for the state.

On a sad note, elsewhere in Minnesota, divers found a body matching the description of a 2-year-old girl who disappeared from a nearby campground two days earlier, Elk River police said Sunday (May 26).

The body, which has been taken to the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office for official identification, matches the description of Daisy Jo Holland, police Chief Bradley Rolfe said at a news conference. He added that the active search for Daisy is now over, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported.

The body was found in a river, several hundred yards downstream from where Daisy vanished, Rolfe said.

“At this time, there is no evidence of foul play,” Rolfe said.

Daisy, who would have turned 3 on Monday, was last seen Friday evening near a campsite at Wapiti Park Campground. She was playing with other children while her mother and two other adults set up camp. Suddenly, she was gone.

Search dogs on Saturday tracked her scent to the edge of the river. But they lost it at an area where the swift water gets deep fast and visibility only extends about a foot below the surface.

Authorities organized search parties Saturday to scour fields and forests nearby. When hundreds of volunteers showed up, police eventually said they had enough people.

 

‘Today’ Show Cast Diverted from Yellowstone

May 22, 2013 by · Comments Off on ‘Today’ Show Cast Diverted from Yellowstone 

Two charter airplanes carrying the “Today” show anchor team and their crew from Hawaii to Yellowstone National Park were diverted in the air to Oklahoma for coverage Tuesday of the catastrophic tornado outside of Oklahoma City, The Associated Press reported.

The popular NBC show was scheduled to to broadcast from Yellowstone on Tuesday.

The Oklahoma tornado came in the midst of the NBC show’s “Great American Adventure” road trip, which had the team scheduled to visit five places in five days. They made one, Monday on the beach at Waikiki, and were headed to Yellowstone when executive producer Don Nash was reached in the air and told about the tornado.

“A lot of time and effort went into the Yellowstone visit,” he said. “But, ultimately, we are first and foremost a news program and this was a big news story. In the end, it was an easy choice.”

The planes with Lauer, Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist were instead sent further east.

It’s likely that the third visit of the week, to Chicago, will also be cancelled, Nash said. He’s playing it by ear for Thursday’s trip to Orlando, Fla., but said “Today” is determined to keep Friday’s plans to check on recovery progress from Superstorm Sandy at the New Jersey shore as the summer beach season begins.

“It’s the right show to do on a week like this,” Nash said.

 

Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds

May 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs for RV Parks and Campgrounds 

OHIO

From NBC News, Columbus:

The dog park at Alum Creek State Park has been reopened for public use after being closed due to a report of the canine parvo virus.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), park personnel were alerted by a caller that a 7-week-old puppy brought to the park was diagnosed with the virus.

The virus can be life-threatening for puppies that have not received all of their shots.

ODNR says that adult dogs that have been properly vaccinated are at very low risk.

“We do not want to put any animal or person that comes to any of our Ohio State parks at danger, so the minute we found out about this, we took the necessary steps to make sure,” said Mark Bruce, of ODNR.

A veterinarian from the Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the grounds and observed no indications that the park was contaminated with the virus.

The park area was thoroughly cleaned by park personnel, and as an extra precaution, was disinfected.

Anyone who visited the dog park in the last week is urged to contact their veterinarian with any concerns.

Symptoms to watch for include vomiting and diarrhea, experts said. Humans cannot contract the virus.

NEW JERSEY

From the Asbury Park Press:

The federal Department of Interior has appropriated approximately $475 million to help repair damage from superstorm Sandy at national parks, refuges and historic places across the state.

The funding includes about $20 million for restoration projects at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Ocean County. The repairs will include reconstruction of roads, trail repairs and electrical improvements, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., announced May 10 in a news release.

“This specific funding through the Department of Interior will not only enable the restoration of public areas, facilities and roads, but it will also help re-energize local economies and reopen areas damaged by Sandy to visitors and recreational activities,” Smith said in the release. “This funding is another step toward a full recovery for our state. New Jersey is resilient and with a little help, we are rebuilding stronger.”

In addition to the parks, historic preserves and refuges, Smith said funding is also targeted specifically for the relocation and rebuilding of the department’s Ohmsett facility located on the installation’s land leading to Sandy Hook Bay and operated by Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

NEW YORK

From Your News Now, Albany:

Smokers will now have to put out their cigarettes in some locations if they want to enjoy the great outdoors in a New York state park.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is expanding the number of smoke free areas at state parks, pools, historic sites and beaches.

The governor said residents should be able to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about pollution or secondhand smoke.

Since the new restrictions will vary from park to park, the state has posted a list of the new rules on its parks website.

COLORADO

From the Pueblo Chieftain:

School board members in Alamosa sold the former Polston Elementary School property Thursday (May 9) to an Alamosa man who hopes to develop the 38-acre site into an RV park and campgrounds.

In approving the $500,000 sale to David Russell, board members passed over a competing proposal to build a park and community produce garden that would have brought the district an extra $255,000 in sale price.

Board President Bill Van Gieson said after the meeting that the RV park proposal held the potential to return revenue to the district by increasing the tax base.

“In 10 years we’ll gain that back in just the property taxes,” he said.

CALIFORNIA

From KFSN-TV, Fresno:

New emissions standards have now made many boats illegal to operate at state parks, and some boaters say it’s a bad move.

Starting Sunday, state park officials now have the power to cite boaters who violate the new emissions standards. The emissions standards mostly apply to 2-stroke outboard engines. Those engines burn a mixture of gasoline and oil, and if they are older than a 2001 model — they do not qualify.

A two-star sticker on the side of Xavier Torres’ boat engine means it is a low emissions engine — making it compliant with the bureau of reclamation’s new emissions standards. But Torres is still unhappy about the new rule. “I know a lot of people are trying to sell their jet skies, get rid off all that stuff. It’s really sad and unfortunate.”

Park rangers say the change is meant to have a positive impact on air quality across the state. “I think you’re going to see more lakes and parks going to these emissions standards. We’re trying to get clean air here in the Valley, we all know what that means for people with asthma and health problems,” said Sgt. Mark Deleon, California state parks.

“We do have enforcement options such as citations. However, we’re still trying to transition. This was enacted in the general plan back in 2010. We’re still trying to facilitate this process and let the public ease into this,” said Deleon.

Four-Stroke engines are not impacted by the new standards, and so far state park officials say no citations have been given out.

SOUTH CAROLINA

From The Associated Press:

South Carolina’s tourism industry has bounced back after the Great Recession with tourism spending reaching a record $16.5 billion, according to figures released last week by the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

“We’re pretty well back now,” said Duane Parrish, director of the state agency. The numbers released to the Associated Press show that, during 2011, tourism spending was up almost 10% and has surpassed the previous record $15 billion of 2008.

Click here to read the entire story.

 

Latest Briefs from RV Parks/Campgrounds

April 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks/Campgrounds 

 

Aerial view of Niagara Falls, taken by Ron Snyder. Photo courtesy of www.niagarafallslive.com.

NEW YORK

From The Associated Press:

Tourism leaders in Niagara Falls that’s home to the state’s most-visited park would like New York officials to come up with a method to get a more accurate count of annual attendance.

State parks officials say more than 8 million people visit Niagara Falls State Park every year. The figure is based mostly on estimates from paid attendance, parking lot usage and patron counts at a nearby visitor center.

But since the physical layout of the park lends itself to free-flowing pedestrian traffic in and out, it’s difficult to accurately determine the number of visitors.

The Niagara Gazette reports that local parks commissioners have asked the Cuomo administration for a visitor research study. The local officials say the study would help efforts to market and promote all the area’s tourist attractions.

WEST VIRGINIA

From The Associated Press:

Audra State Park in West Virginia is still recovering from damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Superintendent Jon Teets says the storm hit the park in Barbour County hard on Oct. 29, 2012. Work to remove downed trees and brush is expected to continue into the fall.

Employees of other state parks helped Audra’s staff clear roads and trails during the winter and early spring. The state hired Davey Tree Service to cut and remove trees and brush at both Audra and Holly River State Park in Webster County.

Teets says the campground has reopened and most campsites will be available.

From The Associated Press:

A bond sale will help expand and improve facilities at Cacapon Resort State Park in Morgan County.

The state Economic Development Authority on Thursday (April 18) approved minor changes to a resolution that helps clear the way for next month’s sale of more than $24 million in bonds.

The project includes an 80-room addition with a fitness area, an indoor-outdoor pool and a sauna, along with improvements to the park’s 18-hole golf course.

The Legislature last year allowed the sale of up to $52 million in bonds for improvements at Cacapon and Beech Fork state parks.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports the authority stipulated that any leftover revenue generated by the bond sale for Cacapon can be applied to improvements at Beech Fork in Wayne County.

MICHIGAN

From the East Village Magazine, Flint:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making great strides in preparing for the Nov. 1 Central Reservation System transition to a new vendor, Camis Inc., with its headquarters in Ann Arbor. Camis will provide a new and improved reservation system for managing state park and harbor reservations.

This transition will have some short-term impacts to customers making campground reservations beginning next month.

Reservations for campsites typically have a six-month window for advance booking. However, as the transition date approaches, this window will shrink. Camp site reservations can be made in the current system, either online or through the call center, for stays through the end of October. Reservations in the new system will be accepted beginning November.

When the DNR fully transfers to the new system in November, the six-month window of advance registration for campsites will be restored.

“One of the DNR’s goals is to keep the impact to our customers as minimal as possible,” said Christa Sturtevant-Good, DNR liaison for the Central Reservation System. “We even plan to keep the web address for online reservations and the call center phone number the same when we transition over.”

“When we fully transition to the new reservation software, our customers will have access to a robust online reservation system that will offer broader search capabilities and campsite photos,” said Ron Olson, DNR parks and recreation division chief. “This advanced software will allow us to capture the beauty of our state parks and share that with our guests when they make reservations.”

Customers will be informed as plans for the new system progress through press releases and at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

OREGON

From a Bureal of Land Management press release:

Anticipating help from Jackson County, the State of Oregon Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), as well as the angling community, the Medford District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to open the Hyatt Lake boat ramps and parking lot on April 25. The volunteers will help with the patrol of the campground and lake while the BLM will install a portable toilet and plow the ramp and parking areas.

Hyatt Lake Recreation Complex in southwestern Oregon.

Due to continued budget uncertainties, the campground and other facilities at Hyatt Lake will remain closed and subject to a delayed opening, which will possibly occur in mid-May. Until that time, the permanent restrooms and the fish cleaning station will be closed and signs prohibiting camping will be posted. Camping is available at nearby Howard Prairie Lake.

Trash service will also not be available until all services are in place at Hyatt Lake. In the interim, those using the ramps and parking areas are asked to pack out any trash.

Hyatt Lake Recreation Complex is one of the prime camping sites in southern Oregon and includes a wide variety of recreational opportunities like the Hyatt Lake and Wildcat campgrounds with a total of 47 pull-in sites and seven walk-in sites, a group camping area, a group day-use shelter, a fire circle, restroom facilities, showers, a trailer dump station, a ball field, boat ramps and dock facilities, a fish cleaning station, a sand volleyball court, a basketball goal, horseshoe pits, a children’s playground and an equestrian campsite.

 

Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds

April 10, 2013 by · Comments Off on Latest Briefs from RV Parks & Campgrounds 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

From The Boston Globe:

Supporters of a bill to require senior citizens to pay admission at New Hampshire state parks say the new fees could generate $300,000 a year, enough to operate four or five mid-sized parks.

But opponents contend it will drive low-income seniors away. The House Resources, Recreation, and Development Committee held a hearing Tuesday (April 9) on a bill that would require those age 65 and older to pay the same day-use fees as other adults, usually $4 or $5, or buy a season’s pass for $20.

Sen. Nancy Stiles, the bill’s sponsor, said that if New Hampshire is going to continue to require parks to operate on fees alone, it does not make sense to offer free admission to large groups.

TEXAS

From The Facts, Clute:

RV parks may be sprouting up around West Columbia  south of Houston like wildflowers due to the anticipated influx of workers for future industrial projects, but West Columbia officials won’t be allowing any new ones in city limits until they have an ordinance in place to regulate them.

“The city wants to look at what happens after the construction is over,” City Manager Debbie Sutherland said.

NEW YORK

From empirestatenews.net:

All Long Island state parks and beaches are expected to open by Memorial Day weekend.

Due to Superstorm Sandy, many of the parks suffered extensive damage to roads, landscaping and infrastructure while beaches experienced significant dune and beach erosion including the loss of natural and native vegetation.

More than 20 emergency contracts are currently in progress across Long Island on state park land as hundreds of workers are repairing, replanting and restoring the damage left by Sandy in an effort to meet the public’s needs in time for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to the summer season.

In 2012, more than 18 million people visited State Parks and beaches on Long Island. Last year, four state parks on Long Island ranked in the top 10 most visited in the entire 179 New York State Parks system (No. 2 Jones Beach State Park, No. 4 Robert Moses State Park, No. 6 Sunken Meadow State Park and No. 10 Heckscher State Park).

From The Buffalo News:

The court order that has halted work on the Maid of the Mist’s new storage facility in the Niagara Gorge was met with approval Tuesday (April 9) by a local preservation leader, who cited the historical significance of the old Schoellkopf Power Station.

“It was the first site for power generation in Niagara Falls,” said Tom Yots, executive director of Preservation Buffalo Niagara. “It’s where we started generating electricity as a commodity in the community.”

U.S. operators of the Maid of the Mist boat tours want to use the site of the former Schoellkopf plant as its new docking and boat storage site, but its work has been halted by a temporary restraining order. Yots stopped short of endorsing the project pending further review of the site.

“As long as we first accommodate the Schoellkopf site, and if the project is determined to be a compatible use, then I think it’s good for everybody,” said Yots, former city historian for Niagara Falls and former chairman of the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Commission.

The parcel is just north of the Rainbow Bridge in the lower Niagara River. It contains the ruins of the Schoellkopf hydroelectric plant, whose thunderous collapse in 1956 led to the construction of the Niagara Power Project. It has become the focus of a court battle between Maid of the Mist Corp. and the Niagara Preservation Coalition, which sought the court order.

Click here to read the entire story.

 

 

 

N.J. Jobless to Clean Up Damaged Parks

March 19, 2013 by · Comments Off on N.J. Jobless to Clean Up Damaged Parks 

At least 1,000 unemployed New Jerseyans will be put to work on post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup jobs courtesy of a $15.6 million federal grant program, New Jersey officials announced.

The National Emergency Grant is fueling the state’s push to hire temporary workers to sweep up streets and public properties in 16 hurricane-battered counties. Already, 700 people have been hired through the program, including 33 who are cleaning up state parks with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

Their jobs include clearing debris, repairing walkways, restoring dunes and removing trees that block trails, officials said.

“It makes us feel so good to get these people back to work,” state Labor Commissioner Harold Wirths said at a press conference on Monday (March 18) at Liberty State Park, which sustained serious damage during Sandy. The state labor department obtained the grant.

The DEP is placing workers at its two busiest parks, Liberty State Park in Jersey City and Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, as well as Cheesequake, Allaire, Hacklebarney and Washington Crossing state parks. They will also be employees at Round Valley and Spruce Run recreation areas.

Employees hired through the program are expected to work for about six months, and some could earn up to $12,000. Applications are still being processed, and state officials hope to fill 1,000 positions with various state agencies in the coming weeks.

Afterward, state officials plan to ask for more funds to hire additional people.

“I’m optimistic that if we need additional funding, we’ll get additional funding,” state parks director Mark Texel said.

New Jersey has an unemployment rate of 9.5%, labor department spokesman Brian Murray said. That’s higher than the nation’s unemployment rate, which was 7.9%.

Anyone interested in applying for employment should visit a local One-Stop Career Center. Locations for the centers can be found on the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website.

 

Updates on Gateway Nat. Rec. Area Openings

March 6, 2013 by · Comments Off on Updates on Gateway Nat. Rec. Area Openings 

This map shows the location of various units in the Gateway National Recreation Area in the greater New York City area. Map courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Gateway National Recreation Area announced the state of their recovery following the destruction left by Superstorm Sandy late last October.

Many parks have already reopened for the summer season, including the campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field, which opened March 1.

More are slated for spring openings, sheepsheadbites.com reported.

The storm struck in October, causing billions of dollars of damage throughout the coastal areas. Some areas have been slow to rebuild and rebound.

The process to recover from Superstorm Sandy will take years to complete.

But many public and private parks are ready to open and others have already opened.

Here is a rundown of what’s open and what’s set to open, courtesy of the Gateway National Recreation Area’s release:

  • The following areas of the park are already open to the public; Fort Wadsworth, Great Kills Park (with the exception of Crooke’s Point), the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Floyd Bennett Field, Frank Charles Park and Hamilton Beach.
  • To make a reservation at any of our campsites visit www.recreation.gov. Some fishing areas are already open, others, such as Crooke’s Point will open soon. Unfortunately, some fishing areas won’t be open this year due to safety issues. 2012 fishing permits will be honored through March 31, and 2013 permits will be available after March 15. Most guarded beach areas will open as normal for the summer season, Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Riis Park will open Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27). Fort Tilden Beach will be closed this summer due to safety concerns, but the facilities in Fort Tilden, including the Rockaway Little League, will be open for the summer. The Breezy Point Tip access road remains closed until it can be regraded. Canarsie Pier remains closed until an engineering study can be done.

Liberty Suffers from U.S. Government Delays

February 27, 2013 by · Comments Off on Liberty Suffers from U.S. Government Delays 

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

The reopening of the Statue of Liberty could be further delayed if automatic budget cuts go into effect on Friday (March 1), WNYC Radio reported.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island have been closed to the public and without power since Superstorm Sandy struck last fall.

Outgoing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spoke Tuesday (Feb. 26) after reviewing damage on the islands.

Congress approved the National Park Service’s request for $59 million as part of last month’s Sandy relief package, but the automatic spending cuts could result in staff losses, and ultimately, delays.

“It’s going to slow down the processing of contracts which are needed in order for us to be able to move forward with the docks, with the security measures, as well as the other improvements that need to be made,” Salazar said.

Salazar said even after the islands reopen, the cuts could lead to fewer operating days during the week.

The Latest RV Parks and Campgrounds Briefs

February 22, 2013 by · Comments Off on The Latest RV Parks and Campgrounds Briefs 

CALIFORNIA

From a Bureau of Land Management news release:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Needles Field Office (NFO) is submitting a grant application to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) to help manage off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation opportunities on public lands. The Needles Field office is requesting funding for Operations and Maintenance, Law Enforcement, Planning, and Education and is inviting public comments on its preliminary grant application.

The preliminary application will be available on the OHMVRD’s website at http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/ for review and comment from March 5 through April 1. The division’s website will provide detailed instructions for accessing the preliminary application and submitting comments. Note, comments must be submitted via email to both the OHMVRD and the Needles Field Office. Comments to the NFO should be submitted to David Roan, OHV Grant Administrator at droan@blm.gov.

Copies of the grant application are available after March 5 at BLM’s Needles Field Office, as well as the BLM Desert District Office in Moreno Valley, and the state office in Sacramento. Information is also available on BLM’s website at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/recreation.html.

For more information, contact David Roan, Needles Outdoor Recreation Planner/OHV Grants Administrator at (760) 326-7033, or Mike Ahrens, Recreation Branch Supervisor at (760) 326-7031.

RHODE ISLAND

From The Associated Press:

Unemployed veterans are being recruited for more than three dozen short-term positions preparing Rhode Island beaches and parks for the season.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee says the state Department of Labor and Training is working with the RI Temps staffing agency in Warwick to recruit veterans.

The full-time work assignments moving beach sand, removing debris, picking up trash, installing snow fencing and raking campground sites are expected to run from early March to mid-April.

Work sites approved so far include Roger Wheeler State Beach, East Matunuck State Beach and the Charlestown Breachway in Narragansett; East Bay State Beach and Burlingame State Campground in Charlestown; and Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly.

The positions are financed through a federal disaster grant Rhode Island received following Superstorm Sandy.

PENNSYLVANIA

From The Daily Review, Towanda:

From the Tuesday’s fire at the Alpine Meadows Campground in Stevens Township, which destroyed a camper and a mobile home and also damaged another camper, has been ruled accidental, the LeRaysville-Pike fire chief said.

“There’s nothing suspicious” about the cause of the fire, said John Keegan, chief of the LeRaysville-Pike Volunteer Fire Company.

The fire destroyed a camper in which Derek and Tiffany Brown and their two young children lived, he said.

Brown works in the gas industry, as does Gary Matthews of Ulysses, who was living in a separate camper that had some of its siding melted from the fire, he said.

“People can live in newer campers in cold weather,” the fire chief said.

In addition, a mobile home that is owned by Eva Gertenitch of Spring City was destroyed in the fire, the fire chief said. The mobile home was vacant at the time, as Gertenitch only used it in the summer, Keegan said.

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