My 2 Cents: State Parks To Start Charging Fees Next Week

Wednesday, June 10th 2020, 10:18 pm
By: Kelly Ogle

What a beautiful night it is to be camping out, maybe at one of Oklahoma's state parks.

I suspect this year that there will be more than the typical 9 million annual visitors to our parks, what with COVID-19 making most of us leery or unable to afford traveling too far from home.

Is there a better vacation bargain around than our state parks with free admission, up until next week that is.

Starting Monday, 22 of our state parks will be charging entrance fees but they're not at all exorbitant.

$8 dollars a day per vehicle if you have an Oklahoma tag, $10 for out of staters.

That money will go back into the state parks and they desperately need it.

A lot of the facilities are crumbling from years of underfunding and neglect.

The tourism department has estimated it needs $40 million annually to maintain the parks, lodges, boating facilities, pools and so on, and the estimate these park fees could generate $10 million a year.

Obviously the timing for the announcement could have been better, but with massive budget cuts looming I don't see where tourism officials had any choice, and it makes sense that those of us who use the state parks help defray the costs of operating them.

I'm Kelly Ogle and that's My 2 Cents.