Through its state park system and related outreach programs, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources continues its strong commitment to preserving the state's natural and cultural heritage and to providing recreational opportunities. Our system strives to reach a balance between the preservation of Missouri's significant natural and cultural resources, and enjoyment of these resources through recreational opportunities.
In 1999, the state park system totaled 81 state parks and historic sites, covering approximately 137,000 acres and serving more than 18 million visitors annually. In addition, its Historic Preservation Program and grant program for outdoor recreation projects enhanced the effort to protect cultural landmarks and provide healthy, quality outdoor activities.
Missouri's natural and cultural resources
Deep forests, sunny glades, wetlands, tallgrass prairies and clear-flowing streams all are protected in state parks. Likewise, the plants and animals that call these landscapes home find protection here, including the federally endangered Mead's milkweed at Taum Sauk Mountain State Park and the prairie chickens of Prairie State Park.
In Missouri, the Missouri Natural Areas Committee designates the highest-quality landscapes as state natural areas. The number of natural areas in state parks increased to 38 with the designation of the Elk River Breaks Woodland Natural Area at Big Sugar Creek State Park in McDonald County. The designation recognizes the significance of the areas and gives them special protection. A total of 67,167 acres of land in state parks was designated as ecological stewardship areas, which means they are subject to management for native species and ecosystem improvements. Thirty-eight state parks have populations of rare, endangered or threatened species.
The National Register of Historic Places is the national honor roll for historic and cultural structures and sites. More than 400 buildings, structures and archaeological sites in the state park system are currently listed on the National Register. Sixty-one properties statewide were added to the National Register in 1999, bringing the total number of individual resources throughout Missouri to 16,578. Through its Historic Preservation Program, the department assists Missouri citizens and groups in identifying, evaluating and protecting the state's historical, architectural and archaeological resources.
The system must protect the resources from outside threats, such as water pollution and air pollution, and from such internal threats as overpopulation of deer and invasion by exotic species. One of the greatest threats is encroachment on park boundaries. With increases in construction and development all across the state, state parks and historic sites become islands. These trends were first documented in the first comprehensive study to determine threats to the state park system in 1992. This study will be revised and updated to reflect today's threats.
Enjoyment of Missouri's state park system
The Missouri state park system continues to attract visitors from throughout the state and the nation. In 1999, 18,151,259 people visited state parks and historic sites, an increase of 3 percent from the previous year and following a trend of increased visitation during the last several years. The number of camping permits also increased, with 308,697 permits issued.
Surveys conducted in the state park system showed that 51 percent of Missouri state park visitors were from urban areas while 49 percent were from rural areas. Surveys also showed that 99 percent of the visitors were satisfied with their visit to state parks and historic sites. The surveys are being conducted in an effort to gather input from visitors as to how the department can make state parks and historic sites better for everyone.
Recreational activities were enhanced not only through the state park system but also through its grant program, which administered state-funded Landmark Local Parks Program grants, federal recreational trail grants and federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. These programs allow private and public organizations to build or repair outdoor recreation facilities and to create new recreational opportunities.
Many activities were focused on providing opportunities for residents in urban areas. Efforts in St. Louis included the opening of Route 66 State Park in St. Louis County and the upgrading of the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site. Work continues on developing a greater state presence and a state museum annex at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center in Kansas City. Another initiative is to develop a state park at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
Partnerships have played a key role in efforts to reach the state's urban residents. The Missouri Parks Association created a program to offer recreation and environmental enrichment programs for urban youth by taking them to Kansas City area state parks and historic sites. The department has continued its involvement with Bass Pro Shops and other organizations to sponsor the Wonders of the Outdoor World at Roaring River State Park. This cooperative effort will be expanded in the future. The department also proposed the creation of mini-urban heritage parks in St. Louis and Kansas City in partnership with city parks departments and neighborhood organizations.
The effort to reach urban residents is just one of the challenges that faces DNR. With a continued increase in visitation, the demand on current facilities and the need for new facilities grows. This puts a demand on the system's infrastructure and staff. Although not as flashy as a new visitor center or campground, a sound infrastructure must be in place for a park or site to operate efficiently and effectively.
- Acres of significant native landscapes preserved in state parks
- Percentage of natural landscape themes and regions represented and protected in state parks
- Percentage of Missouri's listed rare, endangered or threatened species and ecosystems protected in state parks
To decrease threats* to natural and cultural resources in state parks
by 10 annually through purchase of lands adjacent to parks and
historic sites through January 2005.
* Threats as identified in the state parks' Threat Study, such as residential encroachment, watershed and viewshed protection and loss of biodiversity due to inadequate lands for ecosystem establishment.
Threats to natural and cultural resources reduced through adjacent lands acquisition
- Revise 7 percent of the park system's facility conceptual development plans annually to identify key properties needed to preserve and protect park resources, biological reserves and viewsheds.
- Re-evaluate the priority ranking system used in evaluating all adjacent lands acquisitions to ensure it reflects strategic goals and objectives by July 2002.
- Increase the adjacent lands acquisition budget to accommodate changes in the price of lands and sustain a progressive and systematic program of adjacent lands acquisition.
- Work with the Division of Environmental Quality to develop and implement an Environmental Management System as a pilot project for establishing state agency initiatives as an approach to environmental compliance for all natural resources by 2003.
To increase the percentage of state park lands included within active natural resource stewardship units by a minimum 600 acres annually; thus bringing the total acres of land actively managed for native species and ecosystem improvements from 19 percent (approximately 26,000 acres) to 22 percent (approximately 30,000 acres) of total state park lands by January 2005.
- Percentage of state park lands included within active natural resource stewardship units
- Percentage of state park lands with implemented natural resource stewardship plans
- Expand the number and effectiveness of monitoring programs (both qualitative and quantitative) tracking the status of threatened signature native environments and plant or animal species of special conservation concern to accommodate natural resource management plan requests.
- Implement as a new standard the Natural Resource Information Database and Geographic Information Systems to accommodate natural resource management plan requests to provide data management services for natural resource information and management needs.
- Develop Natural Resource Management Plans for each facility at a minimal rate of 7 percent of facilities per year until complete. Each completed plan shall be annually reviewed to examine facility obligations and results in meeting resource stewardship goals with oversight and technical assistance by the Operations and Resource Management Program.
- Commit a percentage of field staff time toward resources management at individual facilities as outlined through the General Management Plan and the performance planning process.
- Increase the annual allocation for natural resource management projects to compensate for inflation, ensuring sustained funding for restoration of native ecosystems, protection and mitigation of wetland and riparian zone hydrology, control of invasive exotic species and reduction of other threats in state parks.
To increase the acreage of park lands contributing to the protection of significant natural communities and landscapes as recognized by the Missouri Natural Areas and the Natural Heritage Sites programs by 2000 acres by January 2005.
Acres of park lands designated as Natural Areas and Heritage Sites
Percentage of park lands contributing to the protection of significant natural communities and landscapes
- Continue to work within the Missouri Natural Areas Committee to support interagency efforts to identify, designate and protect Missouri Natural Areas.
- Complete the DNR Natural Areas Plan by July 2002.
- Use Natural Areas criteria to assist in the review of the state park expansion plan identifying national and statewide natural resource themes and relationships of existing and potential facilities to natural resource theme gaps by January 2002.
- Review and revise natural theme gaps listings for expansion plan including management unit design standards to meet regional biodiversity conservation concerns by January 2002.
- Develop the Natural Heritage Site program and target approximately 15 sites for inclusion to assist the division's efforts to acquire, restore and preserve lands that represent Missouri's native natural landscapes and expansion plan gaps by January 2005.
- Percentage of historic structures included under state park cultural resource plan protection (As a new measure, base numbers are being reported for use in calculating later percentages. The cultural resource plan is a chapter within each state park and historic site's General Management Plan. This formalized approach to cultural resource inventory and management is a newly designed concept with a pilot project currently underway in three state park facilities.)
- Cumulative number of Missouri properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- Historic properties aided through incentive or local government assistance programs
- Percentage of properties containing archaeological sites* and threatened archaeological sites* of those properties reviewed in state parks (This is a new measure, data yet to be collected.)
- Percentage of properties containing archaeological sites and threatened archaeological sites of those properties reviewed other than in state parks (This is a new measure, data yet to be collected.)
- Number of state park artifacts receiving preservation treatment
or added to interpretive programming
* Archaeological sites are sites where some evidence of archaeological material is found. Threatened archaeological sites are those archaeological sites deemed to be of significant importance with potential for impacts from certain developments.
Increase the number of completed cultural resource management plans for each state park facility at a minimal rate of 7 percent of facilities per year until all facilities have plans through July 2005.
Number of completed cultural resource management plans
- Complete a program to identify or develop standards for historic structures and landscapes for use in evaluating and rating condition of elements to gain status toward stable and good condition by July 2002.
- Inventory and evaluate all historic structures and landscapes based on the established standards for resource type, condition and preservation treatments for inclusion within cultural resource management plans at a minimal rate of 7 percent of facilities per year until all facilities are completed.
- Review completed cultural resource management plans annually to examine facility obligations and results in meeting resource stewardship goals; oversight provided through the Cultural Resource Management Program and district offices.
- Contribute to the update of the division's expansion plan through the cultural resource planning process to identify system gaps in major cultural themes and historic subthemes as identified for geographic and chronological criteria and adequate statewide and regional coverage by January 2002.
Increase the number of historic properties identified and evaluated for historic significance through outreach efforts by 5 percent by January 2005.
- Total properties identified and evaluated for historic significance
- Number of citizen-prepared Historic Register nominations and requests for eligibility assessment
- Utilize DNR Urban Core Teams in St. Louis and Kansas City to assist in the identification and documentation of properties potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
- Target 45 percent of the annual Historic Preservation Grant funds for National Register survey and nomination projects.
- Provide training or consultation to local governments, agencies, consultants and citizens on National Register eligibility and the survey and nomination process.
- Provide better mechanisms for the storage and retrieval of information and data collected on identified historic properties, particularly in regard to National Register eligibility.
Increase public participation in historic preservation incentive programs by 3 percent annually through January 2005.
- Number of communities seeking local preservation ordinance aid
- Number of communities participating in the Certified Local Government program
- Number of properties successfully passed through the Historic Preservation Revolving Fund
- Number of properties receiving Historic Preservation Fund grant assistance (development or pre-development grants)
- Utilize DNR Urban Core Teams in St. Louis and Kansas City to assist in the identification of potential state and federal tax act projects, Revolving Fund projects and Historic Preservation Fund development and pre-development projects.
- Organize or participate in annual forums or workshops to increase incentive effectiveness including programs annually on the federal and state tax credits, and four programs annually dealing with preservation topics.
- Partner with local governments or not-for-profits to utilize the Missouri Historic Preservation Revolving Fund to acquire and protect endangered historic properties.
- Target 40 percent of available Historic Preservation Grant funding toward historic structure pre-development and development projects and l5 percent of available grant funding toward educational, outreach and other planning activities to maximize preservation initiative effectiveness.
- Provide design assistance and training to communities participating in the Missouri Main Street Program.
- Promote investment and preservation of historic resources through expanded educational and outreach activities.
- Work with other cultural resource providers to coordinate and distribute information on these resources. Provide technical assistance to communities to foster ecotourism projects.
- Increase participation in the Certified Local Government program by conducting yearly performance evaluations, organizing and facilitating at least one training opportunity for commissioners and staff in communities participating in the Certified Local Government program, working to increase the number of communities enacting preservation ordinances by 5 percent by January 2005.
Increase the number of potential archaeological properties evaluated
through the archaeological review process* by 1 percent annually
through January 2005.
* The archaeological review process is conducted in state parks to identify, protect and interpret significant resources. It is also an important prerequisite for federal projects throughout the state. The evaluation process may include four sequential steps: 1) an initial review of the potential for sites; 2) an archaeological survey if the review determines it is needed; 3) the recording of sites during the survey; 4) determination of site significance and disturbance potential. The process is important in identifying significant archaeological resources and allowing consideration of options to minimize destruction when found.
- Number of archaeological properties identified and evaluated in state parks
- Percentage of properties surveyed of those reviewed in state parks
- Number of archaeological properties identified and evaluated other than in state parks
- Percentage of properties surveyed of those reviewed other than in state parks
- Expand and enhance archaeological survey resources for state parks through additional agency and program partnerships and development of annual work plans that acknowledge survey time needed for interpretive projects and cultural resource theme expansions as well as construction and emergency excavations.
- Evaluate threats to archeological resources in state parks as a component of the project update and assessment concentrating on needs for immediate inventory of sites and stabilization strategies for significant archaeological resources.
- Facilitate the reinterment of identified unmarked human burials and Native American remains for both affiliated and unaffiliated burials as a partner in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act process.
- Improve responsiveness to archaeological reviews mandated through federal requirements (e.g., federal projects and storm-water permitting) to include expanded abilities for timely review and development of written guidelines for archaeological survey.
- Develop activities and materials that are designed to increase public awareness of the need for archaeological resource protection.
Increase the percentage of state park artifacts fully documented within the automated cataloging system from 4 percent to 40 percent by January 2005.
Percentage of state park artifacts fully documented within the automated cataloging system
- Provide periodic training or consultation sessions on cataloging and the use of current computer catalog software to field personnel to ensure effective artifact and accession management.
- Provide quarterly updates to the field units engaged in the artifact data entry process as a means of benchmarking progress.
- Assist parks with limited artifact holdings and without computer cataloging equipment to update catalog records and include collections in the database at a rate of one park per year through January 2005.
- Target one park annually with a limited artifact collection (defined as 500 objects or fewer) to inventory and either convert or complete its data entry to update that facility's catalog records.
Maintain at eight to 10 projects annually, the rate of formal assessment and conservation treatment projects designed to preserve significant cultural resources for interpretive use through January 2005.
Number of formal assessment and conservation treatment projects completed annually
- Develop annually, an artifact stabilization and conservation treatment plan that preserves key artifact and collection materials for interpretive use and maximizes effectiveness of enhancement project funding.
- Review and evaluate all artifact preservation and interpretive enhancement projects with the project approval committee during a two-month period (May and June) and provide a recommended list of projects to the division director by July 1 of each year.
- Provide all affected state parks and historic sites with a list of division approved cultural resource stabilization and interpretive enhancement projects by Aug. 1 of each year.
To provide opportunities for all citizens to enjoy Missouri's natural and cultural resources and the benefits they provide toward health and quality of life .
- Number of state park visitors statewide
- Percentages of rural and urban state park visitors
- Percentages of minority state park visitors
- Percentage of state park visitors with disabilities
Increase state park system opportunities available to residents of
the St. Louis area (statistical metropolitan area) by a minimum
of three new opportunities* annually through January 2003.
* New opportunities may include high-visitation events, new or enhanced ongoing programs at existing facilities or the addition of new facilities managed all or in part by the division.
New state park opportunities available to St. Louis-area residents
- Increase Rosebud Cafe programs at Scott Joplin State Historic Site to interpret African-American performing arts in St. Louis and Missouri and to interface with urban neighbors through development of monthly programs utilizing the two-performance-area format by January 2003. Also, initiate an evaluation of potential opportunities provided by restoration of the row houses located on Delmar Avenue.
- Increase outreach in the St. Louis community by participating in the department's St. Louis Urban Core Office project focusing on historic preservation and outdoor recreation grant opportunities and outreach programs designed to interface with urban users.
- Promote the development of the Great Rivers Resource Center, a regional information and interpretive facility to be located near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, in cooperation with the Department of Conservation providing a historic perspective of the importance of the rivers and their recreational activities, particularly focusing on the urban community. Use this opportunity to educate the public on area recreational opportunities and provide a hub for trail access.
- Acquire and begin development of a 200-acre parcel located at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers allowing public access and interpretation of two of North America's most significant rivers and watersheds; extending Katy Trail State Park to this confluence by July 2004.
- Develop a pilot program targeted toward local sponsorships of Urban Heritage Parks in St. Louis, which link smaller community parks to significant interpretive themes and their associated state parks and historic sites. Partnerships with communities and cities may include promotion, activities, events, grants and maintenance.
- Offer funding opportunities for park and trail development in the St. Louis Statistical Metropolitan Area through federal and state grant programs including the Landmark Local Parks Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund and the National Recreational Trails Program to include an annual general fund request for the city's park infrastructure; program to include grant monitoring and inspections to ensure high-quality projects.
- Continue to develop program activities at Castlewood and Babler state parks and First State Capitol and Mastodon state historic sites that enhance and expose state park and historic sites to urban area residents. (CAMP Kids, Wonders of the Outdoor World, Cultural Resource Tours).
- Continue development of Route 66 State Park as both a natural and cultural park to preserve the Meramec River corridor and interpret the importance of this route to early automobile travel. Offer opportunities targeted to the urban community and information concerning the state park system.
- Extend the Al Foster Trail from Route 66 State Park to the Lincoln Beach Unit of Castlewood State Park.
- Increase involvement with metro-area radio stations, newspapers and TV stations to provide free information and feature articles about the state park system.
- Increase involvement with the Division of Tourism to develop an advertising campaign to promote the state park system in the urban area.
- Increase involvement with the Missouri Department of Transportation and Tourist Information Centers to promote the state park system and upgrade the exhibit and brochure distribution areas featuring state parks and historic sites.
Increase state park system opportunities available to residents of
the Kansas City area (statistical metropolitan area) by a minimum
of three new opportunities* annually through January 2003.
* New opportunities may include high-visitation events, new or enhanced ongoing programs at existing facilities or the addition of new facilities managed all or in part by the division.
New state park opportunities available to residents of the Kansas City area
- Provide additional opportunities for historic preservation and opportunities for urban students to learn about minority and urban historic themes through participation in the Discovery Center in Kansas City.
- Develop a pilot program targeted toward local sponsorships of Urban Heritage Parks in Kansas City, which link smaller community parks to significant interpretive themes and their associated state parks and historic sites. These partnerships with local communities and cities may include promotion, activities, events, grants and maintenance.
- Offer funding opportunities for park and trail development in the Kansas City Statistical Metropolitan Area through federal and state grant programs including the Landmark Local Parks Program, Land and Water Conservation Fund and the National Recreational Trails Program to include an annual general fund request for the city's park infrastructure; program to include grant monitoring and inspections to ensure high-quality projects.
- Increase the park system's planning and operational involvement in the Bruce R. Watkins Center in Kansas City to improve interpretive programming quality and availability by January 2003.
- Prepare a strategy for connecting Katy Trail State Park to the Kansas City area by July 2003.
- Increase outreach in the Kansas City community by participating in the department's Kansas City Core Office project focusing on historic preservation and outdoor recreation grant opportunities and outreach programs designed to interface with urban users.
- Develop a pilot promotional campaign and event in the Kansas City area to introduce the state park system to the increasing Hispanic population in Missouri.
- Increase involvement with the Division of Tourism to develop a promotional campaign highlighting the state park system in the Kansas City area.
- Increase involvement with the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau to highlight state parks and historic sites of the Kansas City area in their marketing publications.
- Increase involvement with Missouri Department of Transportation and Tourist Information Centers to promote the state park system and upgrade the exhibit and brochure distribution areas featuring state parks and historic sites.
- Increase involvement with metro-area radio, newspaper and TV stations to provide free information and feature articles about the state park system.
Increase programs provided to urban youth by developing and implementing a minimum of four new or enhanced program opportunities by January 2003.
- Number of new or enhanced opportunities for urban youth
- Participation in new urban youth programs
- Continue to work with the Missouri Parks Association, the Kansas City Parks Department and the Lakeside Nature Center to provide the Summer Camp Program in Kansas City whereby disadvantaged inner-city youth participate in summer outdoor experiences to develop outdoor skills and enjoy personal enrichment.
- Continue to cooperate with Bass Pro Shops, Missouri Department of Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service to offer the Wonders of the Outdoor World Program and the National Outdoor Recreation School at Roaring River State Park, working to expand the program to the St. Louis area (Babler or Meramec state parks) and the Kansas City area (Watkins Woolen Mill State Park) by January 2002.
- Promote environmental and resource education and advocacy by encouraging appropriate staff to be active in the Missouri Environmental Education Association promoting teacher awareness of how state park facilities can help students better understand Missouri's natural and cultural heritage and committing naturalist and historian staff time toward resource education programs at area schools and communities. Staff time devoted to these functions will be determined through the interpretive planning process.
- Collaborate with the Department's Environmental Education Unit within the Division of Environmental Quality's Technical Assistance Program to establish four new outreach opportunities for teachers and educators, directed toward environmental education and awareness of schoolchildren, at state park facilities located near St. Louis and Kansas City.
Increase hiking trail opportunities within the state park system by expanding primitive hiking trails from 397 miles to 412 miles by January 2003.
Miles of primitive hiking trails in state parks
- Formalize an agreement with the L-A-D Foundation concerning the development of a trail system in the Roger Pryor Back Country Preserve in Pioneer Forest by July 2002.
- Complete the trail layout for Morris State Park (Crowley's Ridge) by July 2002.
- Complete the Conceptual Development Plan for Big Sugar Creek State Park with a major focus on trail development by July 2002.
- Investigate the connection of Goggins Mountain Trail in Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park to the Ozark Trail on USFS property at Bell Mountain Wilderness by July 2002.
Reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease as mirrored in the Department of Health's objectives by increasing outdoor recreation opportunities and participation through January 2005.
Decreased percentage of chronic diseases (Show-Me Result data)
- Continue to fund annually, 40 to 50 new outdoor recreation projects throughout Missouri through the Landmark Local Parks Program, National Recreational Trails Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund through January 2005. Provide information and technical assistance to communities and citizens to ensure knowledge of grant availability and application procedures.
- Require all state and federal outdoor recreation grant applicants to include plans in their outdoor recreation project applications for educational programs to promote health benefits and use of outdoor recreation resources and environmental programs.
- Participate in promotional efforts by the Cardiovascular Health Advisory Board to encourage communities to develop and use outdoor recreation facilities.
- Continue to work with other natural resource providers to coordinate and distribute information on outdoor recreational resources and provide technical assistance to communities to foster ecotourism projects that encourage development and use of outdoor recreation opportunities.
- Continue efforts to extend the Katy Trail border-to-border from
the Kansas state trail system into Illinois by January 2003.
Seek acquisitions of existing railroad corridors for rail-to-trail
conversion, or work with the railroad owners to provide a
"rail-with- trail" opportunity where necessary.
* A "rail-with-trail" opportunity refers to a hiking or biking trail developed parallel to and within an active rail corridor but at a safe distance away from the track.
- Increase participation in the Missouri State Park Passport Program bringing new users to the state park system and encouraging repeat users to visit different parks bringing total participation to 5000 participants or more by January 2005.
Overall percentage of visitor satisfaction with visits
Sustain overall visitor satisfaction with facility operation and maintenance
at the satisfied level* or higher in state parks through January
* Based on annual University of Missouri surveys using a scoring grid of 1- 4 with a score of 4 being "very satisfied."
Visitor satisfaction with facility operation and maintenance
- Complete General Management Plans* for all facilities within the
system and once completed, target 7 percent of the system's
facilities per year for plan review clarifying the relationship
of the threefold state-park mission to each facility and addressing
recreational conflicts as part of this planning process through
* General Management Plans are comprehensive planning documents developed for each park and site containing five individual chapters: the Interpretive Plan, the Natural and Cultural Resource Plans, the Conceptual Development Plan and the Operation Plan.
- Reevaluate and update the 1992 Challenge of the '90s: Our Threatened State Parks to include collating the results of a survey questionnaire on the status and solutions to the system's documented threats, remedial actions taken and new threats perceived by January 2002.
- Increase by 10 percent annually the number of facilities actively managed through a cyclical repair and maintenance schedule intended to assess and remediate the park system's building and infrastructure needs; the program to include an inventory of buildings and structures and a prioritization of the system's infrastructure maintenance needs based on mission, visitor service and life-cycle analysis.
- Conduct general facility inspections in each state park and historic site two times per year to evaluate whether park staff is meeting routine maintenance and repair needs. Inspections are to be conducted by district supervisors and will determine if more detailed inspections or actions are necessary to address maintenance, safety, and environmental or ecological needs.
- Continue the upgrade of facilities to increase accessible use areas for the disabled per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by 10 percent annually through January 2005.
- Complete new signing plans* for 81parks and historic sites and four
district office locations by July 2005 with fabrication and
installation of new signs according to these plans to be completed
at the rate of six parks annually. Target complete installation
for all facilities by July 2010.
* The new sign plan and design program will improve the information and directions provided to visitors by enhancing visibility, utilizing understandable and readable legends and verbiage. Signs will be attractive, durable and environmentally sound, utilizing quality, recyclable materials and biodegradable paints and stains.
- Develop an employee- and volunteer-recognition program for outstanding service, particularly as it relates to high-quality customer service by January 2002.
- Enhance and upgrade the state park's souvenir program by offering at least three new marketing strategies annually to provide a complete souvenir and merchandise program featuring enjoyable, memorable, upscale and educational merchandise through January 2005. Pursue more comprehensive souvenir retailing (i.e., park store concept) contingent on expansion approvals.
- Continue to develop a comprehensive and long-range program to comply with the building codes for public providers, adopting voluntary floodplain standards for state-owned facilities.
Increase participation in interpretive programming from 9 percent to 12 percent of park system guest visitation by January 2005.
- Percentage of visitors participating in interpretive programs in comparison to total visitation
- Visitor satisfaction with state park interpretive programs
- Continue to develop interpretive plans at each facility at a minimal rate of 7 percent of facilities per year until all facilities have plans. Once completed, plans will be updated on a cyclic schedule at the rate of 20 percent of all plans annually. Interpretive plans shall be included as part of the General Management Plan process.
- Provide workshops and events targeting teachers, including development of educational materials so teachers can reach more students with information about Missouri's state parks and environmental messages. Staff time devoted to these functions will be determined through the interpretive planning process.
- Reaffirm the division's commitment to resource interpretation through amphitheater programming, brochure publication, interpretive hikes and other similar activities.
- Participate in a statewide planning group to develop an interpretive plan for the Lewis and Clark Trail from the Ohio River to the confluence and up the Missouri River to include Sugar Loaf Rock and plans to handle an increase in Lewis and Clark tourism;
- Form a special task force to review interpretive themes with special attention to underrepresented or nonrepresented minority themes and how these could be used to develop Urban Heritage Parks. This review shall also be used to make recommendations to revise the system Expansion Plan by January 2003.
- Continue to develop interpretative training opportunities for park interpreters by expanding the scope of the Annual Interpretive Training School and by offering specialized training in interpretive philosophy and methods at other times during the year for other staff who provide natural and cultural resource interpretation.
- Encourage and support appropriate partnerships between the division's interpretive staff and the Environmental Education Unit of the Division of Environmental Quality's Technical Assistance Program, other agencies, schools and cooperating institutions to provide educational events in state parks and historic sites targeting user diversity such as Wonders of the Outdoor World, Partners in Environmental Education Programs and Ecology Days.
Decrease the average visitor accident or injury rate in state park facilities by 5 percent annually through January 2005.
Annual visitor accident rate in state park facilities
- Increase the emphasis on risk management with special focus on the health and safety of our park guests identifying and addressing park safety issues and working toward decreasing costs associated with Workers' Compensation and public-injury claims.
- Complete a standardized public-safety plan for each facility to direct risk management funding toward safety/risk issues identified as potentially life threatening or having the potential to cause serious physical injury by January 2003.
- Develop or assess park sign plans for all facilities and incorporate OSHA sign standards as outlined through the division's risk-management program for improving visitor awareness of natural risks in park settings by January 2005.
- Conduct comprehensive facility inspections using established industry safety and health guideline standards to increase employee awareness of physical safety and health hazards in the workplace inspecting each division facility at least once in every 24-month calendar period; deficiencies identified as life threatening or which could result in serious physical injury to be addressed by risk- management funding.
- Conduct a comprehensive inspection of each playground annually using the most current guidelines as given by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission; deficiencies noted as life threatening to be repaired using risk-management funding.
Decrease the rate of crimes against persons and property (Show-Me Result) in state park facilities by 30 percent by 2005.
- Crimes against persons as measured in state parks
- Crimes against property as measured in state parks
- Develop an incident and arrest record retrieval system that will allow improved measurement of statistical trends, including crimes committed against people and property in state parks by January 2002.
- Review annually, crime statistics to ensure proper allocation and assignment of law enforcement personnel to include rangers and commissioned superintendent consistent with the division's statewide law enforcement strategy and deployment plan.
- Reduce the number of alcohol-related offenses through education and by conducting annual safety checkpoints in each Ranger Region (cooperative effort between State Park Rangers, Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri Water Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, County Sheriff's Departments) to systematically ensure motorists are in compliance with state statutes. Each ranger to conduct at least two alcohol safety programs in DSP amphitheaters each summer and hand out brochures and other safety information in picnic areas and campgrounds.
- Further implement the tenets of community-oriented policing within state park facilities through the increased use of foot and bicycle patrols. Each ranger would conduct at least 40 hours of foot patrol and/or bicycle patrol in their assigned facility each month during the "on season" and endeavor to make at least 100 quality contacts with park visitors each month while conducting foot and/or bicycle patrols. Increase the Ranger Program Bicycle Unit by 10 officers by July 2005.
- Continue to provide comprehensive training to noncommissioned field personnel annually, promoting efficient and legal response to potential and occurring enforcement incidents and practical information regarding what noncommissioned employees legally can and cannot do regarding various types of incidents.
- Provide training for commissioned personnel in the areas of natural and cultural resource awareness and management annually to enhance the understanding of the threats that may be posed by malicious and noncaring acts and viable legal remedies. Staff from the division's natural and cultural resource programs will provide guidance at in-service training to make commissioned employees aware of potential threats, problem trends and strategies.
- Continue to actively pursue state and federal grants to supplement law enforcement personnel, equipment and training.
- Develop and implement procedures to mobilize law enforcement teams swiftly and effectively to deal with specific law enforcement problems in state park facilities (e.g., methamphetimine labs) by July 2002. Conduct annually, a comprehensive review of crimes occurring in state parks and update and develop strategies to ensure adequate responses to these crimes.
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