America’s Favorite Park

This information was provided by the Arizona State Parks department.

Arizonans have an opportunity to help their State Parks win $100,000 by participating online with the “Live Positively, America’s Favorite Park Program” being coordinated by Coca-Cola.   The “America is Your Park” program was launched Thursday and will encourage everyone to vote for a favorite park and get out there and recreate.

In anticipation of the launch, Reneé Bahl, Executive Director for Arizona’s State Parks says, “We would like the public to follow our lead and consolidate their votes so Arizona State Parks can win.  We polled our rangers to get a consensus on one park so we have a better chance to win this amazing prize for the whole system,” said Bahl.  “Some states have a higher population, some higher visitation, but we believe Arizonans have the greatest passion for all their parks and the outdoors so they will join us in voting for Kartchner Caverns State Park.”

The staff decided that Kartchner Caverns epitomizes the natural resource stewardship and commitment of Arizonans.   Kartchner is now one of the top ten show caves in the world for the diversity of its stunning calcite formations and symbolizes the extraordinary efforts taken by elected officials, park rangers and the public who took unprecedented steps to protect and open this pristine cavern system in 1999.  “This living cave has character and a persona. If you haven’t gotten a cave kiss from Kartchner Caverns, you haven’t lived,” says park director Bahl.  To watch a cave video tour and learn the amazing secret story of how this cave was saved go to http://azstateparks.com/Parks/KACA/index.html

While we want your vote for Kartchner Caverns, it is more important that you visit your favorite park.    Votes will be tallied on August 31, 2010 so hurry!    Go to www.livepositively.com/#/Americasparks/vote and vote for Kartchner Caverns State Park.

The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) established the America’s State Parks alliance (www.americasstateparks.com) to mobilize and educate the public and policy makers on the positive impact state parks have on public health and local economies.  The Alliance is launching many national fund-raising initiatives to support America’s parks.  Americans demonstrated a strong demand for budget-friendly outdoor recreation and cultural tourism, with more than 725 million visits to state parks in 2009.

The Arizona State Parks department operates 23 State Parks and historic sites in Arizona and hosts 2.3 million visitors.  These visitors then generate $266 million for the economies and jobs in rural communities in Arizona.  For more information about Arizona’s State Parks visit AZStateParks.com, connect to our AZStateParks FaceBook & Twitter sites or call (602) 542-4174.

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