[Source: Payson Roundup, Peter Aleshire, 7-20-2010] – Get through the beating. But don’t stop dreaming.
That could serve as the motto of the Arizona State Parks system, reflected recently at a rare retreat and strategy session that brought the board to one of its most endangered treasures: Tonto Natural Bridge. The state parks board finds itself in the position of a scrawny kid getting punched out by a bully after his lunch money. The system is bruised, bloody and curled into the fetal position — but still making plans for college.
The world’s largest natural travertine arch formed an apt setting for the discussion, since the park system’s partnership with Payson to keep the Rim Country’s best known tourist attraction open served as a model to save other parks. As a result of the last-minute rescues by Payson and other counties and towns, the state parks board approved agreements to keep most of the sites in the 28-park system open — despite drastic reductions in its budget. [to read the full article click here].