Just two miles from the town of Springdale, Utah, the South Campground at Zion National Park is a stunning place to spend the night: Shielded from the desert sun by cottonwood groves, the campsites are scattered about the banks of the Virgin River and framed against the backdrop of Zion’s towering, red rock canyon walls, according to KUER.

But it’s not for everyone. Or, rather, not accessible for everyone. The campground is ripe for an upgrade, says Treacy Stone, the park’s chief of facilities maintenance.

“The campsites are just laid out across the lay of the land so many of them are uneven, many of the are steep graded,” he said. “Many of them have obvious sites that you would not be able to use if you were mobility impaired.”

The park estimates it will cost about $8 million to make the site universally accessible — and that’s only a small fraction of the cost to fix the maintenance work backlog at the park.

Zion’s maintenance woes are part of a nationwide trend. By the latest count, the National Park Service, has accumulated nearly $12 billion of deferred maintenance costs — a term that the park service uses to refer to work that has been “postponed for more than a year due to budget constraints.”

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