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National Park Service Turns 100, but Deferred Maintenance Woes Remain




Dave Lubach September 1, 2016 - Grounds Management

The National Park Service recently celebrated its 100th birthday. And while officials probably hoped that the public would focus on the positives surrounding the event, the national park system continues to deal with a deferred maintenance nightmare that isn’t going away.

The park system faces a $12 billion deferred maintenance bill for projects at parks across the country, and has considered drastic measures such as awarding naming rights to donors, up until now a no-no for the system.

A story in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch on the system’s 100 years quoted an area park superintendent agreeing that while the park system should be celebrated, the public needs to know more about the maintenance crisis.

National parks saw 307.2 million visitors in 2015, a number that’s expected to increase by 3 percent in 2016, according to a park spokesman. But even as popularity surges, the deferred maintenance bill grows.

Necessary work for roads, bridges, trails, campgrounds, buildings and physical plants grew by $440 million in a year, according to the article.

This quick read was submitted by Dave Lubach, associate editor for Facility Maintenance Decisions. Reach him at dave.lubach@tradepress.com.

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