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The Wisconsin State Park and Trail program is seeking input from residents concerning expectations for the state’s park system over the next five to ten years.
According to a report in the Duluth News Tribune, officials are in the process of gathering information through a series of eight informal meetings held throughout the state.
Jeff Prey, senior parks planner, said a key area appears to be providing additional electricity for the growing number of recreational vehicles.
“The Baby Boomers are camping differently,” Prey said. “They are going from tent camping to RV use, and that market has been growing dramatically for 10 to 15 years. We need to decide how to accommodate this.”
Prey said about half of those who camp in Wisconsin state parks are using RVs, which means parks may need to equip camping areas with more sites and more electrical hookups.
“We need to determine what will work best, and where,” Prey said. “We also need to keep our mission in mind, and keep things rustic and natural.”
Aside from electricity, the parks department is also looking for ways to provide the best possible experience at a park or on a state trail.
“The project will only be as good as the comments we get,” said Peter Beirmeier, chief of planning for the department’s external relations.
Officials are hoping for input from traditional park users, including campers, swimmers and picnickers, as well as nontraditional users, such as horseback riders and mountain bikers, Beirmeier said.
The staff will compile all input for a draft plan for public review in the fall, Prey said.