Letter to the Editor

State parks need our help

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dickinson County is fortunate to have nine state parks within its borders. Some of our parks are well known like Emerson Bay, Gull Point, Pikes Point, Marble Beach, and Templar Park. The lesser-known parks include Mini-Waukon, Elinor Bedell, Lower Gar Access, and Trappers Bay. The lodge at Gull Point is a special treasure for the lakes area.

Historically, the state parks have been underfunded. The only funding source for state parks is the state general fund and that took a 10 percent budget hit this year. Many think of our state parks as having to operate on a shoestring budget -- and now that shoestring has been cut.

Your help is needed to keep the state parks operating so many people can enjoy these public facilities. Maybe you live near one of these parks or one of the parks holds a special affinity for you.

Money is always welcome -- you can direct your funding to the state parks you choose. Contact the Iowa Parks Foundation: Mike Brandrup, 1720 190th Street, Webster City, IA 50595; e-mail brandrup@wmtel.net; cell (515) 290-0469

If financial support is a tough option, maybe you could give some of your time. Help is needed from April through September to clean-up trash, grass mowing, trimming, patrolling, visitor information, etc. All kinds of help is needed. To volunteer your help contact: Frank Rickerl, Supervisor DNR Parks Bureau, Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery, e-mail frank.rickerl@dnr.iowa.gov; cell (712) 330-8127.

To probe further: check Web site www.iowadnr.gov/parks or www.iaparks.org.

Phil Petersen