Park Perspectives by Cheryl A. Schreier · Op-Ed · February 14, 2007
Park superintendent pleased with presidentís 2008 budget
This is my first written opportunity to inform the citizens of West Branch of park happenings and I welcome the chance to keep you informed. In future columns we will update the community on park programs and projects, as well as how the park operates. The park staff and I again extend the invitation to all of you to visit your park.
The National Park Service was established 90 years ago and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site was established as a National Park Service (NPS) unit 41 years ago to commemorate the life of the 31st President. The park service and the park are preparing for the centennial of the NPS in 2016. For the next decade the park service will be addressing three key goals of the ďNational Parks Centennial InitiativeĒ: 1) engage all Americans in preserving our heritage, history and natural resources; 2) reconnect people with their parks; and 3) sustain critical park operations and facilities through the next century. The park will continue to work closely with our Hoover Complex partners and the community to meet the three key goals.
The Presidentís proposed 2008 budget for the National Park Service is beneficial to the American people and the citizens of West Branch, as well as exciting news for the park staff, since the recommendation is a $230 million increase of funding for the park service. The future is promising in a number of ways, including the opportunity for the park to improve operations. The proposed increase for Herbert Hoover NHS could increase the possibility of hiring an additional seasonal park ranger interpreter and maintenance worker. The park has received small increases for base operations in the past however these increases havenít kept up with increased costs in utilities, supplies and materials.
An evaluation of park operations was conducted the last week of January by a team with expertise in various fields of park management from the NPS Midwest Regional Office in Omaha. The team spent the week meeting with park personnel and partners, including community partners. The evaluation was based upon twenty-two standards including park management, resource and visitor protection as well as interpretation and education. Overall the park met the standards and several of our programs may serve as models for other parks. The park staff will work with regional office staff to assist the park in areas to make Herbert Hoover NHS even better for visitors and the community.
The park is additionally excited as it is about to engage in improving the interpretation and education of Herbert Hoover NHS through development of a Long-term Interpretive Plan. For the next year and a half, the park staff, partners, and the NPS Interpretive Center will have the opportunity to assess and enhance the Interpretation and Education Program.
Cheryl A. Schreier is superintendent of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, and an employee of the National Park Service.