But why isn’t this it’s own news story?
In today’s local paper, it was reported state tourism is at record levels “marking six years of consecutive record-breaking growth for the state’s visitor industry” according to the Post and Courier. Buried about half way through the article was a couple paragraphs indicating the state park system has “become almost entirely self-sufficient.”
Traveling across the country, I’ve often camped at parks. They are a welcome change from the commercial overcrowded main-stream lodging options. I love state and federal parks, there is so much hidden beauty and history in them. When I first moved to South Carolina over twenty years ago, it was readily apparent the states parks were under funded and under maintained. Kind of like a well worn deck of playing cards, a bit worn around the edges. Heck, some were out right in horrible shape. Colleton State Park was little more than a gate with a dirt road to the river front. Today it’s a little gem in the South Carolina crown of park jewels. This rise from the dust didn’t happen overnight and improvements across the state seem to be ongoing. A lot of hard work by dedicated park rangers have elevated each park from dependency to independence.
Having a park system which is paying their own way is a huge plus-up for the state. With over $30 million in park revenue last year they are just about paying their own way now and still improving. The powers that be are to be commended for the long hard trail to self-sufficiency they have been hiking. Support your local parks system, Come Out & Play!