Talk about your long-range planning—-the state parks system is taking ten years to plan a park system for the next one-hundred years.
Missouri’s state park system is 90 years old this year. It includes 83 parks and historic sites. But planners think public needs and demands for open space and historic preservation will likely change in the system’s second century. The Department of Natural Resources will be looking for ideas from professionals…and from the public…about the long-term future of the parks system…and how to pay for it.
State Parks director Doug Eiken has to maintain the present system.while dealing with its future.He says it’s easy to lose sight of the future while dealing with the day-to-day administration of today’s parks.
One trend already identified—people, perhaps because of home entertainment, computers and other home-based technology–are not going outdoors as much as they used to. Eiken says that means the parks need to be changed to make them attractive for people like that to use. He says the state has always had a parks system connected to the people…and it doesn’t want to lose that connection.