State Parks

Feb 10th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

National Parks get all the glamour. Supported and sponsored by the government, they are well-known to travelers everywhere.  The NPS manages dozens of parks which are accessible and thriving-to an extent- even in tough economic times. State Parks, however, are not as lucky. Not as well-known, smaller, and less developed; state parks are shutting down across the country.

For instance, take Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Located between the towns of Payson and Pine, in Arizona, the Park is experiencing difficult times. Tonto Natural Bridge is said to be the world’s largest natural travertine bridge. It was discovered in 1877 by David Gowan, a prospector. He found the bridge while running away from the local Apaches. A great story, right? One would guess that this park would be on the top of everyone’s travel itinerary. Unfortunately, funding for the park is at an all-time low. The visitor center is closed on weekdays due to refurbishment and renovation- which has been going on for quite some time.  Nowadays, the park itself is only open on select weekends. There are no basic facilities such as restrooms and water fountains.

The sad plight of the park deserves some publicity. State Parks are arguably, just as dramatic as National parks. Plus, they are far more abundant and accessible. I would encourage each and every one of you to go visit a state park today. Who knows what you’ll find?

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