The state parks system is about halfway through its annual public meetings to talk about Missouri’s 87 parks and historic sites. The meetings often draw people who support parks and historic sites generally, live near them, represent nearby communities, those who have used the parks and sites for several years, and sometimes legislators whose districts include the sites.
Parks director Bill Bryan says the facilities are so different and have such a variety of uses that it’s hard to find a common concern expressed throughout the meetings. “If theyc are enough to go to the meeting they probably have something to say…and we want to know that; we need to know that,” he says.
Bryan says the hearings don’t produce much comment about capital improvement needs although his people often talk about improvements that have been made in the past year–often things the public wouldn’t notice such as installation of a new drinking water system at Roaring River State Park.
Missouri’s parks and historic sites are larely financed by a special sales tax that also is used to fight soil erosion.