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Celebrating the great state parks of the US
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FLORIDA: Park review – The Attraction of Blue Springs State Park

FLORIDA: Park review – The Attraction of Blue Springs State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

–Tiffany Karabaich

A shipping stopping ground in the 1800s, today Blue Springs is a designated Manatee Refuge and family outdoor attraction...  During the winter months, it's common to see manatees enjoying the 73 degree water, and in the summer, gar and tourists splash in its crystal clear waters...  Colorful billboards line the boardwalk next to the estuary describing the history, wildlife and the aquifer where more than 1 million gallons of water a day erupt from the spring's crevice and flow into the St. John's River.

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CALIFORNIA: Man Raising Money to Save State Parks Beaten in South Sacramento

An activist going door-to-door trying to raise money to save California's state parks was attacked by a barefoot homeowner in South Sacramento...  “I turned around to leave his property and that’s when he struck me twice with a two by four on the back of my shoulder...”  The homeowner, 32-year-old Jiong Lu, was arrested for the attack. Neighbors tell CBS13 Lu has been known for some odd behavior including throwing frozen packages of condiments at homes.  Grahl says he plans to press charges.

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CALIFORNIA: “Watts” that?

CALIFORNIA: “Watts” that? | State parks | Scoop.it
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park is one of the most unique pieces of public art in California. This one of a kind community treasure consists of 17 gargantuan towers that rise high over its neighborhood-with two of the structures rising to nearly 100 feet. Many native Los Angelenos simply drive past the towers without a second thought, but the next time you’re in the area do yourself a favor and stop by. On .11 acres of land, it’s the smallest state park in the system, however what it lacks in acreage it makes up for in cultural intrigue.
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GEORGIA: North Georgia state parks win "Reader's Choice" awards

GEORGIA: North Georgia state parks win "Reader's Choice" awards | State parks | Scoop.it

Three North Georgia state parks win "Reader's Choice" awards from Georgia Magazine.  Amicalola Falls State Park near Dawsonville was voted “Best State Park” for its “gorgeous scenery, wooded hiking trails for all skill levels and breathtaking views of Amicalola Falls.” At 729 feet, the falls are the tallest cascade in the southeastern United States... Unicoi State Park in Helen and Vogel State Park near Blairsville were also top mentions in the “Favorite State Park” category. Both have beautiful mountain scenery and lakes, plus exceptional hiking trails.

 

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CALIFORNIA: North Coast officials bash state parks closure plan

CALIFORNIA: North Coast officials bash state parks closure plan | State parks | Scoop.it

State parks officials faced withering criticism Tuesday at a hearing over how they selected 70 parks for closure next year to save money, with one North Coast lawmaker saying the process was so flawed the plans should be abandoned... Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata,... said the closures disproportionately affect rural counties, citing as an example parks on the Mendocino coast where camping sites are almost always booked and yet the parks are on the closure list because overall they don’t draw as many visitors as larger venues.

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NEVADA/CALIFORNIA: Nation's lone bi-state park a success based on popularity

NEVADA/CALIFORNIA: Nation's lone bi-state park a success based on popularity | State parks | Scoop.it

Closed, but not off limits. That’s the status of Van Sickle Bi-state Park as of sunset Monday.  Considering the traffic to the nation’s first and only bi-state park exceeded expectations, it may come as a surprise to some people the gates won’t be open again for six months.  The park near the state line on the South Shore was always intended to be open seasonally.  Although this was a short season, with the park opening July 22, the plan is for it to be open each May through October.

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TEXAS: State parks feel sting from drought, heat and fires

This year's blistering combination of drought, heat and wildfires... have led to a tough financial situation for the state's parks.  In August alone, state park visitation was down 25 percent, compared with the same month last year. That meant a $1 million decline in revenue — mostly from user fees — for park upkeep and operations.  Also in August, half of the department's 94 parks and historic sites saw at least a 20 percent drop in revenue compared with August 2010, officials said.

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UTAH: Uintah County to fund expansion of dinosaur museum

UTAH: Uintah County to fund expansion of dinosaur museum | State parks | Scoop.it

Uintah County will fund the expansion of a popular state park in Vernal.  The county, through its Impact Mitigation Special Service District, will spend $1.5 million to build a new repository and lab facility for the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum State Park... The new 11,000-square-foot facility that Uintah County plans to break ground on in the spring will be "state of the art, as far as the lab and all the latest and best preparation tools," Bennis-Bottomley said. One unique feature of the new repository will be a glass partition that will allow museum visitors to watch as paleontologists and other experts prepare fossils and artifacts for storage or display.

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NEW YORK: Clearing Up Park Oil, Gas Issues

"A unique situation" exists in the park since private oil and gas resources were reserved prior to the 1921 acquisition of about 67,000 acres that make up Allegany State Park.  A state law went into effect Sept. 23 stating any oil and gas interests in the park that have been unused for 20 years will revert back to the state unless a statement of claim is filed in the Cattaraugus County clerk's office by Sept. 22, 2013.

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SOUTH DAKOTA: Disease that decimated bighorn sheep in South Dakota state park might be starting to wane

SOUTH DAKOTA: Disease that decimated bighorn sheep in South Dakota state park might be starting to wane | State parks | Scoop.it

The disease that virtually wiped out the bighorn sheep population at Custer State Park may be waning.  Four lambs have survived so far this season and park wildlife officials see hope, although it is much too early to tell of the success definitively.

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SOUTH DAKOTA: Trip review – Custer State Park

SOUTH DAKOTA: Trip review – Custer State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

What happens when six state park youth ambassadors, all from different states, descend on one state park where the buffalo literally roam, and deer and antelope actually play? Well, we seldom heard a discouraging word and the skies were not cloudy all day! No joke!

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INDIANA: State OKs money to repair Pokagon

The State Budget Committee on Friday approved spending $237500 in repairs at the Trine State Recreation Area at Pokagon State Park.  The property was acquired in 2006... Currently, the Trine SRA is closed for public use and the DNR is working to open the facility by the summer of 2012. To open the property, the DNR must be able to provide safe and reliable water and electrical services.

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MINNESOTA: DNR unveils La Salle Lake SRA in Hubbard County

MINNESOTA: DNR unveils La Salle Lake SRA in Hubbard County | State parks | Scoop.it

A 1000-acre parcel of land in Hubbard County, which will now be known as the La Salle Lake State Recreation Area (SRA), was acquired Oct. 27, 2011...

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NORTH CAROLINA: NC State Parks Gettin' Their Tech On

NORTH CAROLINA: NC State Parks Gettin' Their Tech On | State parks | Scoop.it

–David Lindenberg

I found two great examples of technology implementation. The first was the addition of Quick Response (QR) codes by the state parks system on all of their park brochures...  The second innovation I read about involved a service learning project completed by 20 students from UNC-Chapel Hill.  As part of a creative writing project the students composed narratives of the history of Eno River State Park. They then made a recording of someone reading each narrative. Signs with a telephone number were posted in various areas of the park. Park visitors can call the number on their cell phones to hear a short audio tour. The recordings were funded with a UNC Service Learning grant and will serve as a pilot study to test feasibility and usage, with the possibility of recordings at other state parks.

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MICHIGAN: Runner rescues lost boy in J.W. Wells State Park

Runners most often find endorphins and better fitness on their outings.  Trevor Vetort found a 2-year-old boy...  The toddler had wandered away from his home in Cedar River... Vetort heard the unnerving sound of the boy crying as he ran.  He then spotted the frightened boy alongside the pathway in J.W. Wells State Park.  "He was lost on a muddy trail in a rustic area of the forest..." Few people visit the park this time of year; not a single camper was registered Wednesday. Rangers don't regularly patrol where the toddler turned up. Temperatures were in the mid-40s and rain had fallen that morning. The child wore a hat and boots but no coat.  Vetort carried the child about 1 1/2 miles to a park office and authorities returned him to his mother.

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CALIFORNIA: Stalled Malibu Lagoon restoration gets go-ahead

CALIFORNIA: Stalled Malibu Lagoon restoration gets go-ahead | State parks | Scoop.it

A stalled California State Parks plan to restore habitat and water quality to pollution-choked Malibu Lagoon by dredging the wetland and reshaping it with bulldozers can go forward, a judge has ruled...  The $7 million project, more than a decade in the making, would temporarily drain a 12-acre section of the wetland in Malibu Lagoon State Beach and use bulldozers to scoop out sediment and replant its banks with native plants in order to improve water circulation and ecological health.

 

While most environmental groups backed the plan, the Wetlands Defense Fund, Access for All and the Coastal Law Enforcement Action Network sued last year to stop the project, saying the plan approved by the Coastal Commission was too heavy handed; failed to protect sensitive habitat, including aquatic vegetation and fish; and would remove a pathway to popular Surfrider Beach.  Thursday's ruling in favor of the state... means the project is likely to go ahead in June 2012, a year later than planned. The work can be completed only in the dry summer season.

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NEW JERSEY: Gov. Christie rolls out plan to privatize parks, starting with Wharton State Forest

New Jersey will partially privatize its state parks system to help close a deficit and improve services, with Wharton State Forest in the Pinelands acting as a pilot site for the new approach... Camping fees will increase, but entrance fees for state residents won't - and the nonprofit and corporate partners who contract with the state for services will enhance the park experience, Christie said.

 

Some environmentalists sounded an alarm Wednesday, calling Christie's plan part of a national conservative agenda to turn public parks into corporate assets, creating the possibility that an Applebee's, for example, could open on serene park land...  "He's manufacturing this whole issue as an excuse to privatize," Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, said.  "You have to understand that these people have an agenda to dismantle government."

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MICHIGAN: Michigan's state parks selected as best in the nation

The Department of Natural Resources today announced the recognition—an award given this year by the National Recreation and Park Association.  Michigan was named one of four finalists in May, and beat North Carolina, Florida and Missouri for the top honor.

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NEW YORK: Photo review – Chimney Bluffs State Park

NEW YORK: Photo review – Chimney Bluffs State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

In order to get this shot or any that had more foreground rocks, I would've entered the freezing cold water.  As it was I had waterproof boots that went up just past my ankles. So I put a few rocks together so I would be standing just above the water line. SO are you thinking I didn't get wet?  If u are then you are wrong...

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CALIFORNIA: Park review – Salt Point State Park

CALIFORNIA: Park review – Salt Point State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

Rising above the sweeping waves is the tafoni. Curving, crinkled, rounded, sharp-edged sandstone shaped by a strange combination of salt and the elemental forces of the coast, these otherworldly formations remove one from the mundane and place a geas of childlike explorer. The landscape folds itself in ways to bend the mind, lines twisting into unfathomable patterns and declivities that appear as if they were carved by some master’s hand.

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CALIFORNIA: Park review – Gray Whale Cove State Beach

My favorite place, this magical little enclave, tucked beneath a WWII turret, and enclosed by a wall of scrubby undulating cliffs, will very soon shut its gates. So I will let you in on the secret in hopes that you can help save it... Only 15 miles from downtown San Francisco, it is a fiercely wild place devoid of cars, crowds and development, a perfect example of why there is no place in the world like the Bay Area.

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CALIFORNIA: Photo essay – Henry W. Coe State Park

CALIFORNIA: Photo essay – Henry W. Coe State Park | State parks | Scoop.it

Henry Coe is one of the largest California state parks. The beauty of Henry Coe lies in its simplicity. Rolling green hills spotted with gnarled oaks, soft forests, wildflowers in bloom, acorn woodpeckers filling trees with holes to store their acorns, wild turkeys running across the fields, ponds full of tadpoles. None of this seems out of the ordinary, and yet the balance of elements is near perfect here.

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ILLINOIS: Governor Quinn renews vow to keep parks open

ILLINOIS: Governor Quinn renews vow to keep parks open | State parks | Scoop.it

Gov. Pat Quinn went on record Sunday in declaring the state parks in Illinois will never close as long as he is governor.  "That's not going to happen as long as I'm around. If anything, we're going to add to what we're doing with our parks," he added.

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CALIFORNIA: Trip review – Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

CALIFORNIA: Trip review – Cuyamaca Rancho State Park | State parks | Scoop.it
It was a very purdy area with lots of cozy groves and lakes and fields, and some stunning vistas out across the Vallecito Mountains and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is a huge stretch of desert going all the way east to the Salton Sea.
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MICHIGAN: Trail review – Ludington State Park's Lost Lake Trail

MICHIGAN: Trail review – Ludington State Park's Lost Lake Trail | State parks | Scoop.it
This is my new favorite easy trail within a Michigan state park! When I was talking with other campers at Ludington State Park last week, unanimously everyone mentioned one of the very best things about Ludington was its ...
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