State parks receive major upgrades with help from Amendment 2

More money going to Alabama state parks

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama state parks have gotten a face lift and park leaders give a lot of credit to the passage of Amendment 2 in 2016.

The amendment stopped lawmakers from pulling money out of the Alabama State Parks Division’s overall budget in which the bulk is primarily made up of user fees.

“It is more than a decade overdo for some parks and some areas for our parks," said Greig Lein, the director of the Alabama State Parks Division.

Before the amendment passed, $15 million was diverted from the division’s overall budget during a five-year-period.

“We very much desire to make those areas better. Provide a better product to the public,” Lein said.

Since the passage, parks have been able to upgrade items like their cabins, campgrounds, sewer lines and bathhouses.

“All of those things are very expensive but very necessary things,” said Kelly Ezell, the state parks central district superintendent.

The last two years the department has been able to put $10 million toward park improvements, according to Lein.

Here are some major renovations completed across Alabama since the amendment passage:

  • Cheaha State Park: Paved roads and new climate controlled bathhouses
  • Oak Mountain State Park: New changing rooms, restrooms and upgraded trail heads
  • Lake Guntersville State Park: New air systems for the lodges

There were other improvements on roofs, floors and bathrooms in cabins across Alabama’s parks.

The park director said continued improvements are needed. While the division is still planning what projects to tackle, the next ones could be at Joe Wheeler state park, Lake Guntersville state park, and Wind Creek State Park.

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