On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, the St. Bernard Parish Council passed a resolution recognizing the cultural, educational, recreational, and economic benefits America’s national parks provide to the region by asking Congress to provide dedicated funding to fix park areas like Chalmette Battlefield, part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.
In light of a history of congressional underfunding, Congress is asked to create a reliable and predictable stream of resources to help the National Park Service (NPS) address deferred maintenance at its more than 400 sites across the country. It is estimated that the current backlog of overdue park repairs—including crumbling roads, rotting historic buildings, eroding trails, outdated public buildings, and safety hazards such as deteriorating water and electrical systems—totals $12 billion. In Louisiana, that total exceeds $15.1 million.
Fixing parks will help support an important economic engine for Louisiana, as NPS reports that during 2015, state park visitors spent an estimated $28.3 million in local gateway regions like New Orleans while visiting NPS sites. According to NPS, such spending helps to support 439 Louisiana jobs and provides the state an economic boost of $36.7 million in labor and value added income.
To read the full report on Louisiana park contributions, go to https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.
Click to see the resolution.