VA – Governor McAuliffe Commemorates Anniversaries of State and National Park Systems

Governor McAuliffe Commemorates Anniversaries of State and National Park Systems


RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe celebrated 80 years of Virginia State Parks and the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service today at Westmoreland State Park, one of the original six Virginia State Parks opened on this date in 1936.

Westmoreland State Park is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Located along the Potomac River on Virginia’s Northern Neck, this ecological and historical gem is minutes from the birthplaces of both George Washington and Robert E. Lee. Park amenities include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an event hall, fishing, six miles of trails, camping, cabins, a resort-like retreat capable of accommodating 16 people, and a fossil beach littered with ancient shark’s teeth.

“Virginia’s State Parks are some of the best kept and most beautiful parks in the country, and these anniversaries are a testament to the Commonwealth’s century-old commitment to our natural resources and the great outdoors,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Increasing public access to our natural treasures has been a consistent priority for our administration, and I’m thrilled by the progress we’ve made through strategic investments in infrastructure and conservation. Our stewardship today is laying the groundwork for another 80 years of successful state parks and for future generations to enjoy Virginia’s natural beauty.”

Festivities included the unveiling of a newly rebuilt fountain, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) before its closure in 1942. The water feature was restored with support from the Garden Club of the Northern Neck and the Friends of Westmoreland State Park, as well as a generous private contribution from former Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Tayloe Murphy and his wife, Helen. Earl Jenkins, a local stone mason, worked with trained teenagers from the Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) to restore the fountain.

Governor McAuliffe and Deputy Director Denise Ryan from the National Park Service planted an oak tree to celebrate the event. The ceremony concluded with the burial of a time capsule containing items donated by the Governor and state and national park staff. Afterward, state and national park rangers led attendees on an educational hike culminating at the CCC-constructed log cabins at Campground C.

“Virginia State Parks would never have flourished into the incredible system we have today were it not for the unwavering devotion of its current and former staff,” said Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. “Every park in the Commonwealth is packed with knowledgeable stewards committed to building upon the legacy of conservation and visitor satisfaction they have inherited.”

In addition to their joint anniversary celebration, Virginia State Parks and the National Park Service are partnering to promote Find Your Park, a year-long campaign to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors and experience the parks in their communities. More information on this exciting initiative can be found at

“I’m thrilled to share this anniversary celebration with our friends at the National Park Service. Both groups work every day to preserve and share Virginia’s wild spaces, and we’ve come to appreciate just how effective we are when we work together. The Find Your Park initiative is a great success that cements a partnership that will continue for years to come,” said Virginia State Parks Director Craig Seaver.

Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make a reservation for one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Customer Care Center at 800-933-7275 or visit

– See more at:

NE – Nebraska Platte River Parks to Receive $35-million Upgrade

Nebraska Game and Parks plans $35-million upgrade to Platte River Valley Parks

Picture yourself sledding down a toboggan run, racing downhill in a tube or big ball or zip-lining through a beautiful wooded area.

Sound fun?

Over the next four years, Nebraska Game and Parks (NGP) will be working to provide these fun outdoor experiences and more with a $35-million upgrade to four of its Platte River Valley parks.

The project is dubbed, “Nebraska’s Outdoor Venture Parks: Parks for the Next Generation.” It will involve Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, Platte River State Park, Louisville State Recreation Area, all in Cass County, and Schramm State Recreation Area nearby in Sarpy County.

“The purpose of creating an Outdoor Venture Park is to meet and anticipate park visitors’ expectations of the Nebraska Game and Parks,” information about the project states. “…Families and visitors to the parks are looking for more than just a walk in the park. They want the rush of adrenaline and a sense of exhilaration of the adventures they could have at the parks.”

NGP Director Jim Douglas said the main theme of the venture parks is “nature-based play and learning.”

Happy 80th birthday, Virginia State Parks

Happy 80th birthday, Virginia State Parks

Just as tiny acorns become mighty oak trees, the Virginia State Park system has grown from a small group of parks to a statewide network encompassing nearly 73,000 acres. On June 15, 1936, Virginia became the first state to open an entire park system on the same day.

The six parks offered modern outdoor recreational facilities while protecting areas with significant natural resources. Since then, the system has grown to 36 open parks and six parks targeted for future development. Each has natural and historical resources carefully managed and preserved while providing a wide variety of recreation opportunities for Virginia residents and visitors alike.

This year marks our 80th anniversary, a year traditionally celebrated with oak, and we’re celebrating all year long. From time capsules to tree plantings and the launch of a customer loyalty program, we’re planning special events and activities.

Join the fun

Happenings in 1936

1936 was turbulent. The Great Depression lingered. The nation’s unemployment hovered around 17 percent. Hitler’s Germany and allies were threatening dissidents and neighbors and becoming ever more aggressive. People needed respite from the turmoil and, in Virginia, they could thanks to the opening of Virginia’s first six state parks.

Other events and facts from 1936:

  • A new house ran about $3,925.
  • Wages averaged $1,713 a year.
  • Gas was 10 cents a gallon, and a loaf of bread would set you back 8 cents. You could buy an ounce of gold for $35.
  • The Girl Scouts switched from homemade to commercially baked cookies.
  • Robert Redford, Carol Burnett, Burt Reynolds, Buddy Holly and John McCain were born.
  • RCA broadcasted the first real TV show.
  • Delco introduced the in-dash car radio.
  • President Roosevelt was elected to a second term.
  • The last American public hanging took place.
  • Hoover Dam was finished.
  • Jesse Owens defied Adolph Hitler and his theories of Aryan superiority by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Proclamations of June as Great Outdoors Month

Since 2008, Governors from across the country have joined the President in proclaming June as Great Outdoors Month®.  In 2015, all 50 governors issued proclamations, and 2016 has forty-nine proclamations issued!!proclamations/c1kl5

To download your state’s proclamation as a PDF, click the link below:

Alabama – Alaska – Arizona – Arkansas – Connecticut – Colorado – Delaware – Florida – Georgia – Hawai’i – Idaho – Illinois – Indiana – Iowa – Kansas – Kentucky – Louisiana – Maine – Maryland – Massachusetts – Michigan – Minnesota – Mississippi – Missouri  – Montana – Nebraska – Nevada – New Hampshire – New Jersey – New Mexico – North Carolina – North Dakota – Ohio – Oklahoma – Oregon – Pennsylvania – South Carolina – South Dakota – Tennessee – Texas – Utah – Vermont – Virginia – Washington – West Virginia – Wisconsin – Wyoming

View the President’s proclamation here

Job Opportunity – TX, Director of Interpretive Services

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)– State Parks Division
Manager V – Director of Interpretive Services
Austin, Texas Posting # 16-00608 $7995.00/mo
Closing Date 6/21/16 11:59 p.m.
Under the direction of the State Parks Deputy Director, the Director of Interpretive Services is responsible for leadership and management of the State Parks Interpretive Services (IS) Program to meet division interpretive and education goals and standards. Provides oversight and supervision to the following IS Program Teams: Interpretive Planners, Exhibit Design and Fabrication, Regional Interpretive Specialists, Buffalo Soldiers, Outdoor Education and Outreach, Administrative Support Personnel and State Parks Web Team. Maintains a strategic plan for the Program and ensures IS teams fulfill their short and long term goals. Works to ensure IS teams provide high quality interpretive training, products, events and resources based on industry standards. Evaluates IS work and provides feedback to teams. Coordinates with other SP Programs, inter-agency teams, and other Divisions to build support for interpretation in State Parks. Responsible for the planning and oversight of IS program budgets. Maintains detailed report of interpretive activities in State Parks, provides reports to division and agency leadership. Engages with professional organizations, government entities and the public in support of interpretive and educational initiatives. Works under minimal supervision, with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment. Performs additional duties as assigned. Complies with all Agency, Division and Branch rules, regulations and procedures.

Electronic application must be submitted through TPWD’s online employment system by the closing date for consideration. For the complete job posting and electronic application, please click on the following link:

More information:

Lori Reiley
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
State Parks Division
Personnel Services & Intern Coordinator
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, Texas 78744
p. 512.389.4746
f. 512.389.4895