Mar 28, 2011 7:21 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Palmetto Island State Park in Abbeville will be open through this summer.. It was originally scheduled to close at the end of June because of budget problems.
Park Manager, Marcelle Guidry, said "who knew we'd be in a recession and the money just wouldn't be there to operate the park, so they tried something new by getting private donations and it worked."
Executive Director for Community Foundation of Acadiana, Raymond Hebert, said "in our case, we were able to attract $300,000 dollars exclusively to benefit the state park and keep it open."
It costs about one million dollars a year to run the park. Hebert said his organization works with private donors and the state to raise money.
"You can name a road, a cabin, a pavilion, the welcome center, the splash pad after your family, in memory of someone, to honor someone, after the name of a company," he explained.
One of the parts of the park that isn't even open yet is the Splash Pad. Park officials hope to have the water turned on by mid-summer.
Guidry said, "water parks are one of the biggest draws at the other state parks. The one that we have here is one of the biggest ones in all the state parks."
She said the reason the water park hasn't been open is because they are a few parts that need repairs. The private donations are helping make those repairs possible.