Friday, November 25, 2022

"four recommendations critical to rebuilding a state park system that meets our collective, essential needs"

"On October 14, Massachusetts Conservation Voters convened a state virtual parks summit attended by more than 20 environmental organizations from across the Commonwealth. This open letter, signed by more than 50 organizations, is the result.

MASSACHUSETTS STATE PARKS are in crisis. More than a decade of funding and staffing cuts have eviscerated the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) ability to meet its mission “to protect, promote, and enhance our Commonwealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the well-being of all,” while digging a $1 billion deferred maintenance hole.

The December 2021 Legislative Special Commission report on DCR (page 51) found that Massachusetts, one of the wealthiest states in the nation,  ranks last in per capita spending on state and municipal parks.

State park visitors rarely encounter rangers, and too often find shuttered facilities, crumbling infrastructure, and dirty bathrooms. Park rules enforcement to ensure visitor safety and resource protection is virtually non-existent. Also compromised is our parkland’s ability to support our physical and mental well-being, promote environmental justice, mitigate flooding and urban heat islands, foster climate resilience, and harbor significant natural resources and biodiversity."
Continue reading the article online at CommonWealth Magazine ->

Download a copy of the report reference to read the full story

A pond at DCR-run Nickerson State Park in Brewster.
A pond at DCR-run Nickerson State Park in Brewster

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