Trends in State Park Operations

State park agencies have experienced significant growth during the last decade and made progress in personnel, funding and operations. The economy had an early positive impact on state parks during the mid to late parts of the last decade. Recent reductions in state revenues have begun to erode the progress made during the 1990s. State parks are challenged by reduced funding levels, decreases in visitation, and reduction in full-time staff. Entrepreneurship, external funding sources, and increased state park revenue generation are ongoing trends for state parks.

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About the Authors
Daniel D. McLean is a professor and chairperson of the Department of Recreation and Sport Management at Indiana State University. He has served as the research director for the National Association of State Park Directors for nine years and manages the Annual Information Exchange.

Traci Hogan is a graduate student in the Department of Recreation and Sport Management at Indiana State University.