Friday, December 28, 2012

Welcome to the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department blog!

This blog is envisioned as a place for staff and visitors to share park and department related information and experiences.

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) is responsible for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities in the state. Addressing these responsibilities requires staff with very diverse skills and experiences. The department employs administrative personnel, biologists, carpenters and maintenance personnel, planners, managers, IT and GIS specialists, park rangers, interpreter/historians, grant coordinators and many others.

Each one of NDPRD's wonderful staff has her/his own unique view of life in the department and each have stories to tell and information to relay. We hope you enjoy reading their posts.

At least one new post will be added to the blog each week.  Kicking off the blog is a post from Project Coordinator, Jason Johnston. Jason is responsible for construction and maintenance projects across the park system. Keeping up with the needs of an increasing number of visitors and the seemingly ever increasing size and utility requirements of today’s RVs is a constant challenge. In this blog Jason talks about some of the steps the department is taking to meet these needs.

Campground Upgrades and Additions

By Jason Johnston, Project Coordinator

With campgrounds filled to capacity the last few years, it has been a challenge to schedule campground updates and additions.  Sneaking them in between camping seasons leaves a fairly short window when ND winters are thrown into the middle of it. 

However, we have been able to upgrade electricity and water services in many of our state parks and even had the opportunity to create more camping sites across the system.  In the last eight years, North Dakota Parks and Recreation updated campsites in eight of our 13 state parks with modern campgrounds.  Actually, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park’s campground was redone twice in the last four years due to flooding that required replacement of all campground pedestals to keep in code and address safety concerns.
NDPRD has also constructed 30 campsites at Fort Stevenson State Park that offer water, electrical and sewer hookups.  This was a first of its kind for NDPRD.  These sites have been a hit which led into the next phase of campground additions.

Grahams Island - new campground loop construction

The first addition, currently under construction (paused for winter) at Grahams Island State Park, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.  This new campground loop will accommodate up to 50 campers.  Available at each site will be sewer, water and electrical hookups.  Sites are designed for driving through the camp pad in the same manner as Fort Stevenson.

Jason Johnston
Project Coordinator

The second phase is currently working its way through the legislative process and will be located at Lewis and Clark State Park.  Preliminary designs are for an additional 30 campsites each offering sewer, water and electrical hookups.

The NDPRD is always working to keep your camping experiences enjoyable.