Articles

Posts Tagged #nc division of state parks

CAMPSITE GRAVEL REPLENISHMENT PROGRAM DELAYED BY HIGH WATER IS NOW UNDER WAY AT NC KERR LAKE STATE RECREATION AREAS

The water went up the first of May to 313 ft and down, then to 311 ft and down, then to 307.5 ft in June (above sea level, normal is 300 ft) and now it’s back close to normal. NC Parks maintenance crews at Kerr have pulled the electric boxes on campsites, put them back, pulled them again and so on…three times this Spring.

NC Maintenance Head Chris Curl, describing how pushed he, his crew and others have been, simply said, “Rolling.” Office staff at Kerr spent their time and overtime answering calls from campers wanting to know if they could come to their campsite or was it flooded; park staff also called out. Reserve America, which takes $3 a night for reservations failed miserably to call campers during the three episodes, but they kept the money (another story, another time). Campers calling Reserve America often were told that RA didn’t know the status of the flooding..

Kerr Lake Park Watch last August gave NC State Park officials from Raleigh a tour of all seven parks and Steele Creek Marina. That effort, having the brass see all the nooks and crannies, is helping. Firewood boxes and recycling bins are showing up and so is both campsite driveway gravel and fine gravel for picnic/tent pads.

Frank Timberlake, Lead Public Affairs for Kerr Lake Park Watch, got the see crews firsthand spreading the welcome refurbishment to some popular sites. Pictured below is maintenance crew member Gary Quinitchette bringing gravel on the backhoe, west side maintenance lead John Abbott, Jr. spreading gravel with the Bobcat and a little fine-tuning raking from new ranger Kyle Whitson.

 

“No other state parks crews, maybe some of the mountains come close, but no other group has to contend with the high water, the low water, up and down, pull electric boxes, put them back, the wind and the wrath of Kerr Lake, plus all the regular maintenance and operational duties,” said Timberlake. “I’ll put these guys and gals up against any other team in the state! Sure, we have wants, needs and problems at the seven recreation areas, but these maintenance and ops people do a heck of job with what they’re given! I thank them every chance I get and you should do so, “concluded Timberlake.

Timberlake and the rest of the Kerr Lake Park Watch leadership are eagerly awaiting from Raleigh the results of the recent needs and improvements survey. They plan to form a definitive improvements list after seeing survey results.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

Leave a Comment (0) →

IT’S SPRING & THAT MEANS KERR LAKE RISES – FOR UPDATES VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

Here we were almost showing up in the drought column in Piedmont North Carolina and Southside Virginia, then came the rains.  It’s Spring and especially during April, the showers that bring the flowers usually show up.

Kerr Lake is now over 306.5 feet above MSL (Mean Sea Level – 300′ is normal full pool) and rising, expecting to crest between 309 and 310 feet.  A number of U S Army Corps of Engineers and North Carolina State Recreation Areas are either closed or partially closed due to the high waters.  We have had no information out of DCR or the Virginia State Parks.

We are currently posting information about parks and public use areas on Kerr Lake as the information is provided to us.  As the list of boat ramps and campsites inundated by water is constantly changing we will continue to post that information on our Facebook page which you can find at www.facebook.com/kerrlakeparkwatch.

If you have camping reservations from now through the weekend, Kerr Lake Park Watch suggests that you contact the reservation system for the public park entity as individual state and federal rangers may not have the latest information.

Kerr Lake Park Watch has asked the U S Army Corps of Engineers if the QRR Plan (Quasi-Run-of-River) adopted last year will hasten the departure of the flood waters.

In the final analysis, Kerr Lake is a reservoir, not a lake.  And this, well, it’s April and the showers.  You know that story.

Photo of Nutbush area 4/26/17 by Kelly N. Blake

Posted in: KLPW - Camping Safety, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, KLPW - WATER RELATED

Leave a Comment (0) →

MAKE YOUR WANT LIST FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA PARKS ON KERR LAKE KNOWN…MAKE WAVES!

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE WAVES! If you visit any of the seven (7) Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas on the North Carolina side of Kerr Lake then it’s time for your opinion.

The Division of NC State Parks and Recreation is putting together a survey on how best to spend the $3.75 million from the earlier-passed Connect NC Bond referendum.  When that survey is ready, we will share the link for your convenience.

Those of us in Kerr Lake Park Watch want to see some improvements/replacements of bath facilities like at Nutbush and Kimball Point.

We also would like to see some of the pressure for electric sites removed by adding electric and water sites to Henderson Point and Hibernia.

We have a detailed story coming about the late last summer visit of NC State Park top officials and some ideas that are emerging. But you, the park user, the visitor, should now express your ideas.

It’s a good time to put forth your ideas as NC State Parks will spend $3.75 million on something at Kerr Lake.  You can wait for the link to the survey or you can write now on FB or send your opinions to info@kerrlakeparkwatch.org.

You know the needs…now is the time to share them.  Make your wave!

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

Leave a Comment (0) →

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA RESTORES 50% CUT TO SENIOR DISCOUNTS FOR CAMPING AT KERR LAKE & UPS THE DISCOUNT FOR ALL STATE PARKS

Kerr Lake Park Watch has been notified by the NC Division of State Parks that the 50% cut for discounts to senior citizens who camp at Kerr Lake has been rescinded and the full discount of $6 per night for seniors 62 years of age and older has been restored. In addition, that discount now applies throughout the entire park system for the State of North Carolina.

For more than a week though, the Reserve America system that takes NC State Parks reservations would not give campers the $6 senior discount, only the $3. But as of sometime Thursday, the computer glitches in Reserve America’s system were fixed and the statewide $6 per night senior discount restored.  The pictures below show that the system said $6 but only allowed $3 discount.

2016 KL Reservation that says $6, but only gave $3 #2 (2)     2016 KL Reservation that says $6, but only gave $3 (2)

 

For a number of years, senior campers at any of the seven Kerr Lake NC State Recreation areas have enjoyed a $6 per night discount applied when they made their reservations. Around the first of May of this year, the Division of State Parks and Recreation which manages all state parks including the recreation areas at Kerr Lake put a “dynamic rate plan” into effect and at the same time, cut the senior citizen discount from $6 to $3 per night or by 50%. One of the Kerr Lake Park Watch members was in the process of booking a site and noticed the change; almost immediately, several other campers found out about the change.

A news release and several radio broadcasts brought an initial response from NC State Parks that there had been no cut in the senior discount for camping. Adrian O’Neal, Chief of Operations told Kerr Lake Park Watch that sometimes when implementing something new like dynamic pricing that related items are inadvertently affected. O’Neal stated, “After some additional research, it seems there has been some inconsistency in the administration of the Senior Discount (for camping) not only at Kerr Lake, but throughout the system.  To remedy this, we will be restoring a statewide $6 Senior Discount (for camping).  I assure you this was not an attempt to sneak in a price increase. With that said, we are implementing a model that does charge premium rates for premium times such as holidays and weekends in season, but additionally, provides for reduced rates during off peak times such as weekdays and winter months. This model is used widely throughout the travel industry.  You will also see some minor increases in entrance fees later this year.   Again, we hope dynamic pricing will allow us to make fee changes incrementally so visitors will not see drastic changes from year to year and can plan appropriately for upcoming visits.

“The members and the leadership of Kerr Lake Park Watch are pleased with the swift action by the Division of State Parks to restore the senior citizen discount to 100% of what it was at Kerr Lake. It’s even better that the discount has been further extended, uniformly, to all state parks in North Carolina,” said Kerr Lake Park Watch’s Lead for Public Affairs, Frank Timberlake adding, “As far as Reserve America, we’re used to their glitches and foul-ups.”

Timberlake added, “Regarding the dynamic pricing, we now have the beginnings of a rate schedule from O’Neal and that helps. We will study it and at the same time listen to our members and the public to gather any and all reactions.”

“People sometimes forget that yes, sometimes we are a whistle blowing operation, but that we also are a strong support group of our rangers, our maintenance professionals, other park personnel and the parks themselves. We appreciate the way that Mr. O’Neal stepped up to our issues and the way he and the other leaders dealt with them quickly and to our members’ satisfaction. I truly appreciate Mr. O’Neal’s interest in Kerr Lake Park Watch and his spending time to find out more about what we see as opportunities and issues, said Timberlake.”

Regarding rate increases, most Kerr Lake campers who talk to members and leaders of Kerr Lake Park Watch are not opposed to incremental rates increases as long as they see money being put back into the parks for things like improved campsites with more camping pad gravel, improved bath facilities and possibly lighted boat ramps operated by the park system.

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Reservation Information

Leave a Comment (0) →

NORTH CAROLINA STATE PARKS CELEBRATE 100 YEARS – SEE THE VIDEOS & SHARE

As we get ready for another active season at all the parks around Kerr Lake, there are seven of them that are actually called State Recreation Areas that are part of a year-long celebration.  The seven State Recreation Areas are on the North Carolina side of Kerr Lake and they are a part of the North Carolina Division of State Parks, now celebrating 100 years of bringing the outdoors to the state’s citizens and visitors.

The mission of the NC Division of Parks and Recreation is:

Conservation: To protect North Carolina’s natural diversity through careful selection and stewardship of state parks system lands;

Recreation: To provide and promote outdoor recreation opportunities in the state parks system and throughout the state; and

Education: To encourage appreciation of North Carolina’s natural and cultural heritage through diverse educational opportunities;

for all citizens of and visitors to the State of North Carolina.

State_Park_logo

The seven SRA’s, beginning on the northern most and eastern side of Kerr Lake and continuing clockwise are, Kimball Point, County Line, Bullocksville, Satterwhite Point (JC Cooper), Nutbush, Hibernia and Henderson Point.  Close to 1.5 million people visit these parks with a total of nearly 2.5 million visiting Kerr Lake annually.  If there are any locally planned commemorative events celebrating state parks’ 100 years, Kerr Lake Park Watch has not received any notice.  We, the more than 450 members of Kerr Lake Park Watch wish to celebrate Kerr Lake and its seven recreation areas and the men and women who support the mission of those and other state parks.  It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and we think this artwork by R F Timberlake captures the essence of our state recreation areas.

DSC01498 (2) KLPW 100 CENT w-sig (1024x768)

Several videos on the development of the North Carolina state park system and its value to citizens and visitors have been produced.  You can see these videos, an hour feature produced by UNC Public TV and the another a half-hour program produced by state parks.

UNCTV Program Link:  Saving The Best:  North Carolina Parks at 100

 

NC Division of State Parks Link:  Here In This Place

At Kerr Lake Park Watch we hope that you will continue to visit our parks around the lake and enjoy the more than 40 state parks in North Carolina.  And remember, to be a member, at no cost, simply load your email near the top right side of the blog and that’s how you receive information and offer ideas and input.

Posted in: KLPW - MAIN NEWS, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas, KLPW - Park Entertainment/Events

Leave a Comment (0) →

KERR LAKE PARK WATCH LEADS EFFORTS TO GET PUBLIC INPUT INTO IMPROVEMENT PROCESS

Kerr Lake Park Watch wants Kerr Lake to get its share of the Connect NC Bond. The portion of Town Talk on WIZS that discusses spending bond funds on the 7 NC State Recreation Areas runs from minutes 4.5 until 18.5 minutes of the show. You can cue up the Kerr Lake Park Watch part of the show by selecting the minute marks on the orange slide on the show you can find at: https://soundcloud.com/user-96612206/town-talk-031716

PLEASE LISTEN and then write to state parks telling Director Michael Murphy you want a voice in Kerr Lake park improvements and a view of the budget! Write to this email: michael.murphy@ncparks.gov and copy us at info@kerrlakeparkwatch.org.

wizs-listen-live

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

Leave a Comment (0) →

CONNECT NC BOND PASSES – WHAT IMPROVEMENTS CAN WE EXPECT AT THE 7 KERR LAKE STATE RECREATIONS AREAS?

We rarely hear any news about what is going on with NC State Parks out of Raleigh.  And now that there is big news like the passage of the Connect NC bond, those of us who ardently support our parks on the shores of the John H. Kerr Reservoir are wondering about the plan for expenditures and improvements on the North Carolina side.

“We’re wondering if there will be opportunity for public input as to what things are needed at the SRA’s (state recreation areas).  Historically, NC State Parks have operated in a vacuum passing down already decided policies from Raleigh, said Kerr Lake Park Watch spokesman Frank Timberlake, adding, ” I think I can count on less than one finger the number of press releases or meeting invitations we’ve had from the Division of State Parks in recent years.  They’re certainly not famous for seeking public involvement.  But mark this, we intend to be involved, visible and vocal on the expenditure of these funds, maybe the last dollars of their type for quite some time.”

Timberlake said that the support group is generally pleased with the passage of the $2 Billion Connect NC bond yesterday.  North Carolina’s infrastructure has been crumbling for some time.  A big concern is that NC State Parks is that the system has been acquiring more and more land areas without committed development funds.

“Our biggest concern now is how the $100,000,000 will be split up among parks and the state zoo.  Larger and more pertinent than that split is determining what amount of bond funds will come to the seven state recreation areas that NC STATE Parks operates on Kerr Lake.

Screenshot_2016-03-16-08-38-12

Transparency has not happened as no known groups including Kerr Lake Park Watch have been asked by the Division of State Parks on how the public who use the seven parks think they should be improved,” said Timberlake.

Kerr Lake Park Watch will now start digging through the bureaucracy to find these answers and to bring them out to view for our members and the public.

 

Posted in: KLPW - Campground Facilities and Improvements, KLPW - N C State Recreation Areas

Leave a Comment (0) →