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Environment and Outdoors

Mills announces $50 million in state parks funding

Virus Outbreak Maine Daily Life
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
Park-goers hike up Mt. Battie Auto Road in Camden Hills State Park, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Camden, Maine. Many people who are off from work or school due to the coronavirus outbreak have been enjoying the outdoors rather than staying secluded in their homes.

At Camden Hills State Park Wednesday, Gov. Janet Mills announced a $50 million investment to fund infrastructure and maintenance projects at Maine’s 48 state parks, which she said are now busier than ever.

Standing before a crackling fire at a picnic shelter, Governor Mills said the Covid pandemic brought a surge of visitors to Maine's state parks, including a record 3.3 million last year. Though their popularity shows no sign of abating, Mills says Maine’s state parks have been underfunded for far too long.

mills state parks.jpg
Murray Carpenter
/
Maine Public
Gov. Mills visited Camden Hills State Park to announce new funds for Maine's 48 state parks, which are attracting more visitors every year.

“Well today, that changes," Mills said. "The $50 million I’m announcing today, using federal funds, American Rescue Plan funds, from my Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, will enable the department to undertake urgent capital infrastructure improvements to make the parks more accessible and more enjoyable for Maine people and visitors from away.”

The improvements will include new trails for people with disabilities, expanded parking areas, long-deferred campground maintenance, and new visitor's centers. Mills said some of the work will begin soon, in order to prepare for the summer season.