|Ohio Park Facts|
Ohio Department of Natural Resources | Division of Parks & Recreation
FACTS ABOUT OHIO STATE PARKS
• Ohio's 74 state parks encompass more than 164,000 land and water acres, 56 family campgrounds with more than 9,000 campsites, 16 cottage areas with 519 cottages, nine resort lodges, six golf courses, 393 trails covering 1,155 miles, 188 boat ramps, 46 marina/boat rentals, 80 beaches, 37 nature centers, 179 playgrounds and myriad other outdoor recreational facilities.
• Ohio State Parks are the third most visited park system in the nation. According to a 2002 Ohio Poll conducted by the University of Cincinnati, more than 83 percent of all Ohioans have visited at least one state park at sometime. And 42 percent of Ohio households visited at least one state park during the last year according to a 2004 study conducted by the Ohio State University.
• According to the same 2004 OSU study, total visits to Ohio State Parks generate over $1.1 billion in the state's economy annually. Overnight visitors to Ohio State Parks contributed $250.4 million to the state's economy during 2004 according to an economic impact study of overnight visitors performed by Longwoods International and Rovelstad & Associates.
• Eighty percent of the state park system's 2,650 buildings are more than 20 years old and 60 percent need significant rehabilitation. The average age of the 44 largest buildings in state parks is 37 years. The backlog of Capital Improvement needs for all state park facilities is estimated at $300 million.
• The average age of the division's vehicles is 9.1 years with an average of 92,400 miles. It is estimated to cost $3 million for three years to bring the fleet up to a safe and efficient operating level.
• Ohio State Parks has reduced its permanent workforce 28 percent since 2000 (628 permanent employees compared with 452 today.) The current ratio of permanent to less-than-full-time employees is 1 to 2.25.
• The organization has been streamlined to 26 regional units to manage and operate the 74 state parks. Twenty-two state parks do not have any full-time permanent staff and 32 no longer have an on-site park manager.
• Focus groups conducted last summer revealed many people thought park facilities were "noticeably deteriorating." Overall satisfaction with the state parks declined 9.1 percent on a 1-5 scale to 4.0 in the 2004 OSU study from a 4.4 rating in 2000 according to an independently conducted telephone survey.
• Ohio State Parks' past several biennial budgets have not kept pace with inflation, pay raises or fully fund mandated costs. The General Revenue Fund allocation to Ohio State Parks represents about one fifth of one percent of the state's total GRF or 22 cents for every 100 GRF dollars.
• Revenues generated by the state parks now account for 42% of the operating budget. (Fees & Charges were $28,785,015 in FY 05)
• Park-specific friends groups are now in place at 45 state parks to raise funds to assist parks with improvement projects. The statewide support organization, Friends for the Preservation of Ohio State Parks was chartered in 2004.
• In its 22nd year, the state parks volunteer program involved over 7,000 volunteers who provided nearly 346,000 hours of service to help assist staff at the parks. This is an all-time high level of volunteerism for the state parks.
• In 2004, the division received the Pledge to Excellence (Tier1) award from the Ohio Awards for Excellence (OAE) for its customer focus; adherence to core values; innovative approaches to overcome budgetary challenges; training and development of employees; and customer satisfaction survey system.
• In 1997, Ohio State Parks received the first-ever Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation and Parks Association and National Sporting Goods Association recognizing Ohio State Parks as the finest state park system in the nation.
All of the proceeding was copied from the "Friends for the Preservation of Ohio State Parks" web site www.FPOSP.org