Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Parks Update

New Jersey's DEP seems to be back to cutting services instead of closing parks to reduce their budget gap.

The state's environmental commissioner told senators today that while state parks might remain open it could be difficult to keep the most popular activities — camping and swimming — available.

Lisa Jackson, the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, told the Senate budget committee they're working to keep as many state park services as possible, but cautioned camping and swimming are the most expensive.

Swimming, for instance, requires life guards, while camping necessitates garbage collection, she said.

"Those will be our biggest challenges over our next days and weeks," Jackson said.

She said parks may remain open for activities such as trail hiking.

"I think most, if not all, of our parks will be open for passive recreation," Jackson said.
This really should not be an issue in one of the richest states in the country.