Target: Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
Goal: Uphold funding for the maintenance of historical buildings in Washington’s State Parks
Washington State Parks hold the largest portion of historical buildings in the state. These structures represent a powerful expression of state history and culture, but they require increasing maintenance over the years. Washington must prioritize funding for the maintenance of these invaluable historical resources in order to ensure long term cultural and historical integrity.
Lighthouses, forts, Citizen Conservation Corps shelters, and many other historical resources listed in local and national registers of historic places, create a rich historical and cultural environment for state residents and visitors. They provide education and context for park visitors as well as significant employment in maintenance, restoration and tourism. Furthermore, maintaining these buildings is inextricable from continued maintenance and public accessibility of the parks themselves.
The 2011-2013 state budget proposes that the State Parks and Recreation Commission merges with the new Department of Conservation and Recreation, reducing State Parks funding by $67 million, and removing $10 million from the capital budget. This enormous reduction in funding would necessitate restructuring in park maintenance and operations to make parks more self-sufficient. Parks requiring more attention would resort to closure or transfer to other interests. Allocating sufficient funding on the other hand, would reverse this bleak outlook and provide much needed employment in the green collar sector.
In order to ensure cultural and historical continuity and integrity in Washington state, the state government must support the maintenance of historical buildings in its state parks. These parks hold a significant number of historical buildings and provide an opportune setting for visitors to learn about, and experience them. By preventing the elimination of particular commissions and programs, and by supporting funding, state parks will remain open, employment will increase and many of Washington’s vital cultural-historical resources will survive for generations to come.
Dear Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire,
Many of Washington’s most valuable historical resources are at risk as funding for State Park and historical building maintenance is cut. State parks hold the largest number of historical buildings, presenting them in a unique setting and providing education and cultural-historical context. In addition, increased maintenance of historical structures and parks will provide green collar jobs and enhanced tourism revenue for the state.
Restructuring and budget cuts as proposed in the 2011-2013 budget would amount to severe challenges and drastic changes for state parks, historical buildings and park employees. Deterioration of historical structures and potential closure of parks along with decreased tourism and cultural-historical expression would follow.
Please prioritize State Parks and the historical resources that they hold by securing sufficient funding for their maintenance and long-term preservation. By maintaining departments and programs devoted to culture and heritage, funding can continue. This would ensure the survival of state parks and historic buildings, increased employment and tourism revenue, and the continued integrity of Washington’s cultural and historical legacy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: joeymac via Flickr