Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Lead for Public Affairs, Frank Timberlake attended a legislative reception for state parks Tuesday evening as the guest of state Senator Chad Barefoot. Friends of NC State Parks hosted the event, with Senate and House Co-Chairs of the NER committee giving remarks.
In front of old friends Senators Andrew Brock, Tom McGinnis, and Barefoot, and the new state parks director, Timberlake publicly thanked Dave Cook, Northern District Superintendent for his leadership and personal involvement and the great job done by the Kerr Lake SRA folks on the excellent, after-season rehab job of campsites at Kerr Lake.
Timberlake and legislative leaders were interested in meeting new state parks director Michael Murphy and several of his new staff members and to determine what Murphy envisions for the next level of park service. Legislators are very interested in KLPW’s input particularly as the Governor plans to move state parks to a new department. Senator Barefoot told new state parks officials to rely on Timberlake and KLPW pointing out that he has served as Chair of the state parks board, DENR board member, Liaison w/US Army Corps of Engineers, Chairman of Historic Oak View County Park and Co-Founder of Friends of Occoneechee State Park.
Deputy Director of State Parks Carol Tingley and newly appointed Chief of Operations Adrian O’Neal updated Timberlake and Senator Barefoot on the park use survey conducted by the Division of State Parks last year. That survey had an amazing 17,000-plus responses with the information and a detailed report on state parks and recreation areas to come out in late February or early March.
Although they could have been there, KLPW did not see or get to speak with any legislators representing the direct Kerr Lake side or counties of North Carolina. As the reception was ending, with a group of legislators leaving, Timberlake told them, “With all that goes on indoors, we need all the outdoors we can get!”
QUICK SUMMARY ON NEW ITEMS FOR NC STATE PARKS:
- Michael Murphy, New State Parks Director
- Adrian O’Neal, New State Parks Chief of Operations
- Governor McCrory plans to move parks to a new department
- New park user survey to come out late February, early March.
- Kerr Lake Park Watch viewed by legislators and “Friends” as one the most active and informed parks support groups in the state
- Key legislators are now more aware of Kerr Lake assets and issues
- KLPW stressed the need for larger, more RV friendly campsites