Though Beaver Dunes State Park is famous for its hundreds of acres of sand dunes, the small lake here is popular with those who like to fish. The area also has camping facilities in various spots. The City of Beaver will be taking over operations of the park Aug. 15, the date the state had scheduled to close the park. Courtesy photo
City of Beaver votes to take over park in special meeting Thursday evening
By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla. – Beaver Dunes State Park found a new lease on life Thursday evening when the City of Beaver Town Board voted to take over the beleaguered park the state has announced it was closing. The planned closure was due to budget cuts necessary statewide to help alleviate massive budget deficits.
Though Beaver Dunes State Park only used around $30,000 annually from state funds, it was on the list of seven state parks that are being eliminated in Oklahoma because of the state’s deficits.
Beaver’s The Herald-Democrat Publisher Joe Lansden has been lobbying with the help of others, both locally and statewide, to find relief funding from the state to keep the park open.
Wednesday night, Lansden sent out a message on his “Save Beaver Dunes State Park” Facebook page.
“Well success Facebook friends,” Lansden wrote. “The town of Beaver voted this evening, in a special meeting, to officially take over Beaver Dunes State Park.
“They have two very short months to get the paper work accomplished, and the most important item is that the Sandhills Park will stay open,” he said.
The state had issued a closing date of Aug. 15, which will now be the date the park will simply change hands, and according to Lansden’s posting, the state has pledged to continue “helping” the city with the park.
Lansden added the city can now rename the park.
“Hurray,” he wrote. “We will no longer be a state park.”