[Source: Matthew Vinsko, JackCentral] — In response to Arizona’s $1.6 billion deficit, the Arizona State Parks Board (ASPB) decided on Feb. 20 to close two state parks. Many others will receive a drop in funds, and may be closed in FY 2009, including Flagstaff’s Riordan Mansion. These parks cost too much to maintain compared to what tourism and other outlets bring in financially.
Bill Meek, the president of the Arizona State Parks Foundation, said with the obvious need for cuts throughout the state, it was a foregone conclusion that parks would be affected. “It was pretty apparent that (they) could not make it through the year with the money that they have,” Meek said. “(Because) we face the same problems as the universities, it is just as hard to get away from the legislature.”
Kendra Stoks, a volunteer for more than two years at Riordan Mansion, said this time of uncertainty has been hard on all those involved with Arizona state parks. “It is a scary time right now,” Stoks said. “State parks mean a lot to Arizona. We are all still shocked about (potentially) losing that little piece of history.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]