Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell proclaimed the month of June as Virginia State Parks month.
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia has provided access to outstanding outdoor recreation for all its citizens since June 15, 1936 when it launched the Virginia State Parks System with six parks geographically dispersed throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, the original Virginia State Parks were constructed between 1934 and 1936 – during the Great Depression – in partnership with the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps; and
WHEREAS, the system has grown to thirty-five state parks and six additional state park sites will eventually serve Virginians in the future; and
WHEREAS, Virginia State Parks have been honored as one of the best managed and popular state park systems in the nation and which are in part preserved and maintained through user fees and donations; and
WHEREAS, in 2010, the Commonwealth’s state parks had more than eight million visit, the most in its history; and
WHEREAS, Virginia state parks also saw record cabin and camping reservations and enjoyed more than 256,418 volunteer hours in 2010; and
WHEREAS, Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps was named the Outstanding State Volunteer Program in the United States in 2010 by the U. S. Department of Interior’s Take Pride in America program; and
WHEREAS, State Parks won more than 101 awards in 2010 for best camping, best beaches, best trails, best campgrounds, best scenic views, and many other categories; and
WHEREAS, Virginia State Parks have helped the Commonwealth capitalize on its great natural and cultural treasures since 1936 and provide great benefits with more than $180 million in economic impact from outdoor recreation and tourism spending by state park visitors in 2010; and
WHEREAS, Virginians use their parks for the therapy they need for the mind, body and spirit which contributes to a healthy lifestyle and a recognition of the stewardship responsibilities we share as citizens of the Commonwealth;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize June 2011, as VIRGINIA STATE PARKS MONTH and June 15, 2011 as the 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIRGINIA STATE PARKS SYSTEM in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens and encourage Virginians to visit and enjoy their award winning state parks throughout the year.