Public is invited to guided hikes in early January at Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County, Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County, and Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County
JEFFERSON CITY – Missourians are gaining three new state parks in southern Missouri that will have some of the state’s most distinctive natural landscapes and features on their more than 8,000 acres, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today. The addition of Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County, Bryant Creek State Park inDouglas County and Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County will bring the total number of state parks in Missouri to 91. “These new state parks ensure that we can protect and preserve these valuable natural landscapes for generations to come,” Gov. Nixon said. “At a time when other states are closing or even selling state parks or charging day use fees, we are expanding our system of state parks to offer more opportunities for Missourians to experience the outdoors, at no admission cost.” The new parks include:
“These new parks were acquired to fill natural history gaps that were not previously represented in the state park system,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. “For more than 20 years, the park system has been looking to add properties with these unique natural features for the public to enjoy.” The new park lands were selected based on goals identified in the 1992 Missouri State Park and Historic Site System Expansion Plan, which was developed following a nearly five-year process of public meetings, research and staff input. In 2004, Missouri State Parks also completed Missing Masterpieces: A Survey About Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites. The extensive survey gathered public input regarding the standards the division uses to evaluate potential new areas for their worthiness to become new Missouri state parks. Plans for development of the properties and future use are in the preliminary stages. Early development will focus on natural resource stewardship. The park system will hold a series of events to allow members of the public to see the properties and provide feedback on park planning. The first of these events will be guided hikes on the property. They will take place at:
For information on where these hikes will begin, contact Missouri State Parks at (573) 751-0761 firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who cannot attend the hikes, a presentation and opportunity to provide feedback will also be available online atmostateparks.com beginning on Jan 6. The state park system purchased the Eleven Point State Park for $8 million, Bryant Creek State Park for $4 million and Ozark Mountain State Park for $2.8 million. Money for the purchases came from settlements reached with mining companies that had operated in the state. The purchase of Ozark Mountain State Park and Bryant Creek State Park also included some state park funds designated for land acquisitions. In 2015, a record 19.2 million people visited Missouri state parks and trails. Gov. Nixon expects to release attendance figures for 2016 in the next few days. Last week, Missouri reported the Fiscal Year 2016 annual impact report by Tourism Economics, a division of Oxford Economics, showed Missouri welcomed 41.7 million visitors, a 3.2 percent increase over the previous record of 40.4 million in FY 2015. Overall, the tourism had a $16.5 billion impact in Missouri in FY 2016.
### Follow the Governor on Twitter @GovJayNixon