State Parks

OHIO IS a state with boundless beauty. Playing a major role in the Buckeye State splendor are its state parks.

Eastern Ohio is fortunate to lay claim to two of those gems — Barkcamp in Belmont County and Salt Fork in Guernsey County. They both are recreational jewels.

To their credit, state officials realize the importance of state parks.

That was reinforced this week by a major infusion of cash toward the upgrade and modernization of the venues.

More than $88 million is targeted for state park projects. All of Ohio’s 74 state parks will share in the bonanza, being overseen by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The renovation funding will focus on trails, campgrounds and recreational facilities. It will be money well spent.

The statewide park facelift features an added nice touch. Park visitors, via a website launched Wednesday, will help determine which camp sites, cabins, lodges, restrooms, shower houses, trails, roads and wastewater treatment facilities will receive the improvements. Such a move makes sense as park patrons should have a say in their facilities.

Ohio’s state parks were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. Consequently, some of those facilities are showing their age. The state money will go a long way in delivering a needed fresh look.

The $88 million being channeled to state parks is a quantum leap from past funding packages, which normally are $15 million to $20 million every two years.

We commend state officials for realizing the importance of state parks. The $88 million will go a long way in enhancing the physical makeup of more than 70 recreational venues. That being the case, everybody is a winner.