Historic Resources in Missouri State Parks
Missouri’s state parks not only include public lands and natural features essential to recreation. They also include many historic structures, such as the Philip Kaes homestead and cemetery in Castlewood State Park (St. Louis County) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structures in Sam A. Baker State Park (Wayne County) and Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park (St. Louis County). Historic resources within these parks and thousands of other historic and potentially historic structures within Missouri’s State Parks are crumbling due to funding limitations. Meanwhile, millions of dollars have gone toward the establishment of new state parks, some with luxury lodge accommodations in the past several years, resulting in under-funding of maintenance and improvements at existing parks and historic sites. Deferred maintenance in the National Parks system is currently being addressed in the US Legislature in the National Parks Legacy Act, which would address the severe backlog of maintenance and capital improvement projects. It is hoped that by listing here, our Division of State Parks might seek to encourage similar legislation to provide the same type of funding to address the backlog and ongoing maintenance needs of historic resources in Missouri’s system of State Parks and Historic Sites.