Four state parks in northeastern Oklahoma could be sold off, leased out or closed due to state budget cuts and low park revenue.
Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation hasn’t made a final decision on three of the parks, but is considering selling or leasing Disney/Little Blue Area at Grand Lake, Snowdale Area at Grand Lake and Spring River Canoe Trails.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is expected to cast a fishing line into Kitchen Lake to celebrate the opening of a new park on the city's southeast side.
A ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday after more than $850,000 was spent renovating a portion of the 160-acre park. Improvements include a new entry and parking lot, wheelchair-accessible sidewalks and a floating fishing dock.
Most of the funding came from a 2007 bond issue.
The lake has long been a favorite spot of local fishermen and is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie and three kinds of sunfish.
When budget cuts led the Oklahoma tourism department to find new homes for seven state parks in 2011, two of them went to Native American tribes. Both are open and doing well, but each has faced its own difficulties in the transition.
Federally run campsites, parks and pavilions at dozens of Oklahoma lakes controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have closed because of the federal government shutdown. But that’s not keeping people away from lakes like Texoma, Eufaula, and Tenkiller, it’s just funneling them into state parks instead.