The heavy part of the year is over for Missouri’s state parks and historic sites, giving parks workers a chance to get them ready for the heavy flow of visitors when warm weather returns.

This was a year of recovery for the parks after the big drought of 2012. State parks director Bill Bryan says the summer was remarkable for the growth of vegetation, what he calls “a summer of abundance” after the drought.

Now it’s time its time to do maintenance, improvements, and natural resource management work. Part of that work will include setting some of Missouri’s parkland on fire. “We use a lot of prescribed fire to retain the kind of natural environments. Fire was a natural part of those landscapes,” he says.

Bryan says there’s a lot of work to be done after a million people go through the parks and the sites. But they won’t be closed. He says hours might be reduced at visitors centers, but campgrounds and cabins will remain open, as will historic sites.

AUDIO: Bryan interview 2:32