ARIZONA STATE PARKS: For Immediate Release
Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Bilbrey at (602) 542-1996 or (602) 228-8518. Contact by Email: pio(at)azstateparks.gov
(Phoenix, AZ - February 22, 2010) - The Arizona State Parks Board on January 15 voted to keep nine parks open and close the remaining thirteen State Parks in a phased series of closures starting February 22, 2010 due to six different State Parks funds being swept of $8.6 million. Parks will be closed in a phased sequence starting on February 22, 2010 and include Homolovi State Park in Winslow, and Lyman Lake State Park in St. Johns.
(Phoenix, AZ - October 1, 2009) - Oracle State Park is CLOSED to the public for day-use due to budget reductions; open only by reservation for school programs, and for special events. Read More
(Phoenix, AZ - February 24, 2009) - The Arizona State Parks Board voted Friday to temporarily close two State Parks for repairs and to move park rangers to other State Parks that have lost many professional and seasonal personnel due to a $34.6 M sweep from State Parks funds.
The historic lodge at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (now open select weekends, learn more) has severe roof leaks and structural problems and Jerome State Historic Park has a wall that is collapsing. Both of those parks will close to all public entry on Thursday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m.
According to Assistant Parks Director, Jay Ream, "Tonto Natural Bridge and McFarland State Historic Park have been slated for years for these repairs and both projects are 'hammer ready' jobs that small construction firms will be able to bid on soon. The Tonto Natural Bridge stabilization project may go to bid about March 6. That repair process may take five to six months to complete and after completion the Board will re-evaluate the budget situation for re-opening. The Jerome State Historic Park stabilization may take two months to prepare for the bidding process and then that project will probably take at least six months to complete as well." (building photos available)
McFarland State Historic Park was recently closed because the adobe walls are crumbling and the foundation of the building is washing away underneath the walls. Hand-made adobe bricks will have to be made to replace the older foundation. That project is out for bid now and bids are due March 19, 2009.
The seven-member volunteer Parks Board also decided to further explore alternatives for reaching the $5.5 M shortfall that might include furloughs, layoffs, some park closures and canceling and/or suspending Heritage grants. Heritage fund grant monies will be transferred to the Enhancement Fund (gate fees) so the agency will have operating funds through the end of FY2009.
The Board left open the option to reconvene before the official April Board meeting for additional action as deemed appropriate to keep the agency functioning.
For more information about Arizona State Parks call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free 800-285-3703) or visit azstateparks.com.