RRSP reviews accomplishments, future plans
Officials at Missouri State Parks hosted an open house on Sept. 17 at the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center at Roaring River State Park to take public comments on the park system and hatchery.
"Public meetings are part of an ongoing effort to seek input from the public about what they would like to see in their state parks," said Dusty Reid, park superintendent. "They also allow us to share with the public the accomplishments staff have made over the last few months and what projects we have on the horizon."
One of the highlights of the meeting was discussion about Governor Jay Nixon's 100-Missouri Mile Challenge, which urges Missourians to complete 100 miles of outdoor physical activity by the end of the year.
Also introduced was the book, Trails of Missouri State Parks, which lists over 230 trails in 58 state parks and historic sites for those novice or experienced hikers who enjoy exploring the outdoors. The spiral-bound is available at mostateparks.com at a cost of $19.95.
Those in attendance also took a look at the 2013 fiscal budget, which totals $254,480 for operations, seasonal staff, special events, stewardship, maintenance and equipment replacement.
Roaring River State Park saw a total of 529,592 visitors in 2012, logging a total of 25,101 camping nights sold at the park.
Major accomplishments at the park included installation of new shade structures around the swimming pool; installation of hand rails at cabins four through nine; new roofing material on laundry house #1; glade restoration and prescribed burns over the property; completion of a drinking water project; campground improvements and a variety of advertised activities including Wonders of Wildlife, Eagle Viewing Days and Earth Day events.
In looking toward 2014, park officials plan to continue flood repair damage from the summer rains that flooded the grounds; paint the Old School House, various cabins and the interior of Camp Smokey kitchen; renovation of cabins one through three; replace the roofing on the CCC shelter, making energy efficient upgrades and hosting a number of special events.
"We received several compliments from guests about how quickly we had the park cleaned up after the recent floods," Reid said.