During a visit and tour of Tiffin Motorhomes in Red Bay, Alabama, on Monday, May 9, 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey voiced her support for the State Parks Amendment on the May 24 primary ballot.
As the only constitutional amendment on the May 24 primary ballot, voters can approve an $85 million bond issue to benefit Alabama State Parks.
“It’s just real important that we all vote ‘Yes’ on that amendment on the ballot,” Gov. Ivey said. “We have so much natural beauty here, and it’s important that we offer our citizens and tourists the great opportunities to experience and enjoy them. With your support of the State Parks bond issue on May 24th, we will soon have ribbon-cuttings on several renovated campgrounds, cabins and improved day-use areas in our 21 State Parks.”
Alabama’s State Parks System renovated and reopened the campground at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville following a devastating tornado in December 2019. The renovated campsites feature upgraded electrical service and larger pads to accommodate modern RVs.
Additionally, the State Parks System recently expanded the campground at Cathedral Caverns State Park near Woodville and added upgraded electrical service, water and sewer connections and larger pads.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship noted the recent campground improvements will accommodate modern RVs, such as ones made by Tiffin Motorhomes. In addition, voters’ approval of the State Parks Amendment on May 24 will fund more campground improvements.
“We appreciate the Alabama Legislature passing the legislation to put this amendment on the ballot on May 24,” Commissioner Blankenship said. “We have been performing renovations and putting money back into the parks as revenue is generated. However, the need is great, and the bond proceeds will be used to bring our State Parks up to the first-class product that will best serve our citizens and guests going forward.”
Many of state parks campgrounds were built when camping was a pop-up camper or in tents. These campgrounds need major renovations to expand campsite pads and to upgrade electrical services to 50 amp to better meet the needs of today’s modern campers. These facilities will also have improved water and sewer hookups and infrastructure. Provisions for WIFI are also needed in many campgrounds and parks to provide the connectivity people expect today.
Cabins will also be built at several state parks to allow for more guests that want to experience nature in roomier accommodations that can meet the needs of families. Camper cabins will be built on some campground sites to allow access for people who want to enjoy camping in the great outdoors, but don’t have RVs.
Many old playgrounds need total replacement with new modern, accessible playgrounds to provide fun for kids of all abilities. We also want to focus on improving the day use areas of our Alabama State Parks by building new bathroom facilities and expanding the recreational offerings at lakes, field areas and trails. Dog parks are also a much-requested item for our Parks.
“The whole state will benefit with a YES vote on the State Parks Amendment on May 24,” Blankenship said.
Red Bay Mayor Charlene Fancher agreed that “people are enjoying wide-open spaces – the great outdoors – more than ever before.” Outdoor equipment manufacturers, including Tiffin Motorhomes, have likewise seen a spike in demand for their products during the last few years.
“Alabama is blessed with 21 beautiful State Parks, but we have the potential to make the state of Alabama a premiere tourism destination by improving the infrastructure of the parks,” Fancher said. “With continued improvement through the proposed bond issue, I feel certain that the state of Alabama will continue to set new records of visitors with the continued initiative of maintaining and improving our state parks.”
About Alabama’s State Parks System
The Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and maintains 21 state parks encompassing nearly 50,000 acres of land and water in Alabama. The parks range from Gulf Coast beaches to the Appalachian Mountains and provide opportunities and facilities from basic day-use activities to resort convention lodging, restaurants and golfing areas. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Make reservations at www.alapark.com/online-reservations and learn more at www.alapark.com. Partners Pay the Way.