Voters approve amendment to fund Alabama state parks

Voters approve amendment to fund Alabama state parks

By a huge 77 percent margin, Alabama voters approved the amendment on this month’s ballot to provide a bond measure that will generate as much as $85 million for improvements and enhancements to campgrounds at Alabama’s 21 State Parks.
$80 million of the funding will go towards new services designed to help modernize the parks, make necessary park renovations and invest in outdoor recreation infrastructure. The other $5 million will goes towards the Alabama Historical Commission to help improve, renovate, equip, acquire, provide, construct and maintain historical sites. The Alabama Secretary of State’s website states those funds cannot be used in any part at the Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury.
“This will give us the funds to make much-needed improvements to the campgrounds across the state, bringing them into the 21st century. A lot of our campgrounds were built when camping was a pop-up camper and a tent. We’re way past that now with the larger motorhomes with three air conditioners that need 50-amp service,’’ said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The funds will also be used for new bathroom facilities, more cabins, accessible playgrounds and expanded day use in the parks.
“Hunting, fishing, hiking and outdoor recreation, as managed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is a $14 billion, with a B, economic driver for our state,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “That’s especially important for rural areas. In a state like Alabama, folks are passionate about hunting, fishing and wildlife, and they have plenty of opinions of how they should be managed. Commissioner Blankenship and his team do a wonderful job of balancing long seasons with appropriate bag limits to ensure that we don’t overharvest the bounty that God has blessed us with.”
Pictured: Gulf State Park campground on Pleasure Island.