Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tennessee can't keep up with State park repairs

In a sluggish economy, a growing number of Tennessee vacationers are swapping trips to far-off resorts or seashores for tents, inexpensive campsites and lake excursions at the state's network of parks.

They often find aging facilities with problems like broken toilets, rusting playground equipment and threadbare carpets.

"Many of the facilities are worn down," said deNise Moore, a volunteer at Fall Creek Falls State Park on the Cumberland Plateau, a popular destination for Middle Tennessee residents. "I want to be proud of it, I want it to shine. But right now it's a bit dull."

A national professional group for civil engineers appears to agree. It recently gave Tennessee a D-plus for its state parks, a system that a recreation group hailed as the best in the nation in 2007.

The state's tight budget leaves officials unable to take care of a $100 million backlog of maintenance projects at its 54-park system, where many facilities date to the 1930s.
Full Story...
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