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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 27, 2003
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov

Four state parks to reopen to full operations

(RICHMOND) – Four Virginia State Parks that had limited offerings since January will resume normal operations April 1. Caledon Natural Area in King George County, False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach and Sky Meadows State Park in Fauquier County had reduced operations closing Mondays and Tuesdays and opening only 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the week. The Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap also reduced operating hours since it reopened for the season in early March.

The limited state park operations resulted from budget reductions by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The 2003 Virginia General Assembly proposed restoring the funding, and Governor Mark R. Warner has concurred with the recommendation asking that the state parks be restored to full operations as soon as possible.

Caledon, False Cape and Sky Meadows will open from 8 a.m. to dusk daily. The museum will resume its normal operating schedule. In addition, primitive camping is again available at both False Cape and Sky Meadows. The Caledon visitor center and False Cape’s Wash Woods Environmental Center also will reopen for public use. Restored funding also allows for hiring seasonal staff and the reestablishment of nature and history programs at the affected state parks.

“I am pleased to announce that these four state parks will again be fully opened for business,” said Joseph H. Maroon, DCR director. “We appreciate all of the support we have received from the governor, the legislature and the many state park supporters who have helped to make this possible despite the state’s continued budget woes. While our state park system remains the most frugally supported in the nation, our state park staff continues to provide service that has made Virginia the nation’s current award-winning system. We look forward to a record year of visitation this year.”

With this action, all 34 Virginia State Parks are open daily. Campsites are available in 24 parks, and 12 parks offer cabin rentals. For more information on offerings at any Virginia State Park, call the state parks reservation center at 1-800-933-PARK (7275) or visit www.dcr.virginia.gov.

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