When the Virginia State Park System was established in 1936, great emphasis was given to making the benefits of a park visit affordable to all citizens. Unfortunately, the pressure to generate more operating funds for our parks through park fees has pushed fees to a level that put them out of reach for many economically disadvantaged Virginians. A survey two years ago determined that 48% of Lake Christian Ministries (LCM) client families had never been to Smith Mountain Lake State Park and LCM, and a full summer pilot program will take place this year. The level of interest and participation will be monitored, as well as the added burden on State Park facilities, in order to determine whether the program can be continued or expanded in the future.
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