DUNLOW – State Senator Mark Maynard (R-Wayne) recently went on tour of Cabwaylingo State Park after some complaints he received.
“I’ve been hearing complaints of Cabwaylingo shutting down, about boarded up windows and the firing of staff. I have contacted DNR numerous times, and called the park, and not finding out any answers,” Maynard said. “So last week I decided to drive up and see first-hand what was going on. I took a self-guided tour through half the park and the rest was given to me by the courteous assistant Superintendent.”
“I took notes on all the things that could be done to make the park better. All state parks took a 10 percent cut this year. For Cabwaylingo that equaled the cost of one employee. It just so happens they had one employee that wasn’t returning for the next fiscal year, so through attrition, the cut happened without really causing hardship on anyone,” Maynard said.
“After touring the park, I had visions of embracing the ORV (Off Road Vehicle) community. I found numerous trails on the 8,000 acres. And instead of it just being a sanctuary that is used very little, I feel we need to diversify and embrace the equestrian, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and ATV and jeep community – similar to my vision for Bluestone.”
Maynard planned to have a meeting with the Director of the DNR to help solve the other problems with the park.
Like many other public pools, Maynard also found out that the swimming pool at the park would not open this summer.
“In my meeting with the DNR last Friday, it was revealed to me that on that day it was official, the DNR would not be opening the Cabwaylingo pool this year, or any year in the future,” Maynard shared. “I first contacted a Wayne County Commissioner to see if they could take it over like was arranged for the Berwind pool, which was taken over by the McDowell County Commission.”
“However the Wayne County Commission, like the state, has taken a huge hit, loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars due to decreased coal severance tax funds, and can’t absorb the costs associated with operating the pool,” Maynard stated. “Here is my proposal – does anyone know of an organization, like Eagle Scouts, Big Brother-Big Sister, YMCA, 4-H, or a church organization that would be interested in taking the pool over. Or maybe a concessionaire (private, for profit business) could run it. Of course there would be hoops to jump through, but we could possibly negotiate some seed money to start it up and help offset the expenses. I honestly feel the pool can be opened without major expense, just some TLC, it was winterized properly after last year’s season,” the state senator added.
Maynard encourages citizens to call the DNR at (304) 558-2771 and tell them you support a responsible pilot project at Cabwaylingo that will attract outdoor recreational activities he listed above. He also said to call the Department of Commerce at 304-558-2234, which would help, or to phone the Governor’s office at 304-558-2000. “Let them know you would support these ideas, saving our great state park,” Maynard concluded.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)