Monday, December 15, 2008

Feeling economic pinch, states close or reduce schedules at parks and historic sites, many rural

State parks and historic sites, which can be major contributors to rural economies, are reducing schedules or even closing as state governments see tax revenue falling with the national economy, Laura Bruno of New Jersey's Daily Record writes for USA Today.

"Illinois has taken among the most drastic actions so far, closing seven parks and cutting the historical preservation budget in half, from $5.6 million to $2.8 million, according to David Blanchette, spokesman for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency," Bruno writes. "That has meant the shuttering of 12 historical sites, including the Lincoln Log Cabin, where Lincoln's father and stepmother lived (Associated Press photo by David Mercer), and the Dana-Thomas House, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright," in the state capital of Springfield.

Bruno lists closings and other cutbacks in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Georgia and Florida. We doubt this list is comprehensive, and suspect it's a story for most states and many localities. (Read more)

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