Alabama’s Rickwood Caverns State Park on the Chopping Block

Inside Alabama's Rickwood Caverns.

Inside Alabama’s Rickwood Caverns. Photo by Matthew Gordon/Wikimedia

A tight budget has Alabama legislators contemplating the closure of 15 state parks, including the 380 acre Rickwood Caverns State Park in Warrior, Alabama.

Alabama’s WHNT News reports the futures of Bladon Springs, Chickasaw, Bucks Pocket, Paul Grist, Florala, Blue Springs, Roland Cooper, Rickwood Caverns, Cheaha Park, Lake Lurleen, DeSoto, Lakepoint, Guntersville, Joe Wheeler and Frank Jackson states parks are all up in the air.

The $7 million in operating funds they require are being reallocated, leaving the parks unable to stay open.

Four parks, Bladon Springs, Chickasaw, Buck’s Pocket and Paul Grist State Park, are already scheduled to close on May 1, 2015, while an emergency plan, which cuts hours and staffing, is being put in place for Frank Jackson, Rickwood Caverns, Roland Cooper, Blue Springs and Florala state parks on June 1st.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources hopes enough funding will be found to at least keep the remaining parks, Guntersville, Joe Wheeler, DeSoto, Lake Lurleen and Cheaha, open.

If that does not happen, all 15 parks, which have failed to consistently made a profit over the last three years, would close by the end of 2016’s fiscal year.

The more profitable Meaher, Wind Creek, Chewacla, Monte Sano, Cathedral Caverns, Oak Mountain and Gulf State Park are slated to stay open.

[via WHNT News]

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