Shenandoah National Park Celebrating 88th Anniversary

By: Sonia Randev
By: Sonia Randev

Betsy and Mike Soloman spent much of their life living in Richmond. They moved to Waynesboro eight years ago, just to be near Shenandoah National Park.

"Just because it’s nice and peaceful. There's wildlife here, [and] there's not a lot of traffic," says Soloman.

As the park celebrates the 88th anniversary of the National Park Service, it’s also facing a whole lot of challenges.

Operating budget pressures have forced management to cut back on critical park needs, including air quality monitoring, invasive species management, and facility maintenance.

Since 2001, 18 full time positions have been cut at the park. This means the grass isn't being cut as often, and visitors are noticing shorter hours due to staff reductions.

For those who bicycle, finding a place to get water and food is really getting to be more of a problem. You really have to carry a whole lot with you because facilities close so early.

Funding for the park has grown from $7.9 million in 1992 to $15.2 million in 2003, but officials say the increase is offset by rising inflation and cost of staffing.

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