SNP increased fees helping with park maintenance backlog

SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — This summer, Shenandoah National Park increased the entrance fee to help with park maintenance. Park officials say there is a $79 million backlog of maintenance projects and the higher fee is helping reduce that number.

There is a five-year plan to conquer some of the maintenance projects — like the stone walls in the park that date back to the 1930's and are falling apart.

Sally Hurlbert, with SNP, says there are a lot of things that must be constantly maintained that are often overlooked.

"One of our assets that people don't think about are the views along Skyline Drive and at our overlooks," Hurlbert said. "We have to maintain those vistas because the forest wants to grow back."

Skyline Drive is one of the park's main assets, so a lot of money is spent on repaving the road to keep it safe. But some of the maintenance work lies beyond what visitors can see.

"What often gets overlooked is what's underneath Skyline Drive," Hurlbert said. "The culverts that carry the water away. Some of those things have been in there for many many years and are beginning to rust and need to be replaced."

Hurlburt says the money also goes towards maintaining campgrounds and water treatment plants in the park.