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June 30, 2021

Glendo State Park, Buffalo Bill State Park, and Medicine Lodge State Archeological site will have 135 new temporary first come, first serve camping sites this Fourth of July weekend. These are the first of many projects and venues to benefit from $6.5 million in CARES Act funds made available to the agency by Gov. Mark Gordon. Buffalo Bill will be providing 100 new sites, with Glendo providing 30, and Medicine Lodge providing 5.

In 2020 Wyoming State Parks saw a 36% increase in visitation which added over 1.4 million more visitors to Wyoming’s State Parks. This exceeded capacity limits at many of the popular sites. “Since receiving the funding three weeks ago we have been working diligently with our Bureau of Reclamation partners with the initial focus on increasing temporary camping capacity at our larger reservoir parks” states Dave Glenn, Deputy Director of Wyoming State Parks. “While we’ll have 135 new temporary sites available by the Fourth of July weekend, we’re shooting for a total of 333 new sites statewide by the end of the summer. We want to continue to increase the over $1 billion in economic impact Wyoming State Parks contributes to State and local communities.” 

Throughout the year the $6.5 million in funds will be utilized to provide 18% more overnight camping capacity to visitors and the traveling public reflecting the significant increase in demand Wyoming State Parks saw in 2020. A portion of the funds will also be used to expand day-use amenities such as additional day-use areas, picnic shelters and parking. 

In the future, the new campsite enhancements will involve gravel installation, picnic tables, fire rings, new signage, fee canisters, increased trash contracts, extra toilet pump out contracts, and portable toilets.

Electronic kiosks for fee collection, 26 total, are also in the works to decrease face time at the fee booths, as well as cash handling. Where these kiosks will be placed has yet to be determined.

“Wyoming is all about outdoor recreation and tourism and we are excited to be able to provide more services to resident and non resident visitors alike” states Glenn, “if visitors stay just one more night, or eat one more cheeseburger, it’s a win for our state’s economy.”      June 30, 2021

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