Monday, October 13, 2008

Skidaway Park to Close ?

By John Bennett.
Concerns about how budget cuts will affect Georgia’s state parks are being voiced all over the the state from Rome to Bainbridge to Albany. A letter to the editor in today’s Savannah Morning news frets about the future of the Skidaway Island State Park swimming pool. I agree with Kevin Clark that closure of the facility would be bad news. In his letter he writes, “The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is threatening to close it and several other lesser-used state parks because of budget cuts.”
I’m not sure if Clark’s “it” is the pool or the park as a whole.
If he is talking about the park as a whole, is it true that it could be closed?
According to an Atlanta-Journal Consitution story on the budget cuts, Skidaway Island State Park is the third most profitable park in the state. That would seem to work in the its favor. It’s not one of the five most visited, but it’s not in the five least visited either. Will this be enough to protect Skidaway?
While it’s true that Fort McAllister Historic Park, near Richmond Hill, is not too far away, I think Skidaway’s position just minutes from Savannah makes it a resource too important to lose. The park’s value will become increasingly evident in times of high gas prices. It allows city residents to spend a night under the stars without having to spend an arm and a leg on fuel. After all, if you pour all your money into a hole on the side of your car, how will you afford s’mores ingredients?

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