Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources provided good news at the Alabama Conservation Advisory Board meeting last weekend in Montgomery: All but one of the 21 State Parks showed a profit in 2022.

“In that park, we had cabins closed for renovations, and that impacted the profitability of that one park,” he said.

State Parks has hired a firm to handle all the electronic reservation systems, which will integrate reservations, check-in, golf courses, point-of-sale and food and beverage into one system.

“That integration will make the system more efficient, and we’ll be able to track the use and increase the profitability of our parks,” Blankenship said. “We’ll put that money right back into operations and maintenance.”

Last May, voters in Alabama overwhelmingly approved an $80 million bond issue for State Parks. The funds became available last November, and work has already started.

“We’re also partnering with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management on water and sewer projects in our State Parks through their Clean Water Fund. I appreciate that partnership,” Blankenship said. “Last year, ADCNR and ADEM teamed up on paving projects with a new rubber-enhanced asphalt material at Lake Guntersville State Park and DeSoto State Park. This year, the same material will be used for paving at Joe Wheeler State Park.”

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