National Geographic : 1963 Nov
Young Texans romp on an exercise bar at Garde of 40 year-round recreation centers for residents tracts of land and competes with parks sys tems for what is available. Logically enough, the highway builders often decide parks offer the best routes for new roads. At this very minute, they seek to run a throughway across Prairie Creek Red woods State Park in California. The Nation's Capital is battling this situation throughout the city, the most important test being over a proposed freeway through Glover Archbold Park, a beautiful place we promised never to let become other than a park the day we ac cepted it as a gracious gift. Since good highways are eminently desira ble, the parks man has trouble fighting off 672 the throughway builder. Sometimes the roads man gives us the impression he sees a park simply as free land. We insist, however, that the social and cultural values in a good park outweigh a road curve or detour. After all, more than 100 billion miles a year is rolled up by Americans on vacation or seeking a weekend's recrea tion. Why, then, destroy the very thing that people seek when they take to the road? No doubt the highway en gineer thinks us unreasonable sometimes, and maybe we are, but I do find increasing signs of better cooperation. The case of Oregon shows what can be done. A few years back, Sam Boardman was state highway engineer. But under the Ore gon system, in which parks management is vested in the highway commission, he was also chief of state parks. Building a coastal highway, he bought for the state not only the road right-of-way, but all the land between road and sea plus strips on the oth er side that would screen ugly lumbering in the Douglas firs. Now, driving this beautiful highway, you can turn off ev ery few miles into a state LLUMETTE ,S. park, and fish and camp and en Villas, one picnic and have a wonderful of Houston. outdoors experience (pages 670-71).* Taking up where Sam Boardman left off, the Parks and Recreation Division of the Or egon Highway Department last year pub lished what I consider a model plan for the future of its parks. Exhaustive research laid the foundation for its recommendations-in population growth, the rate at which American leisure time is increasing, trends in recreational pref erences, the rise in land values, and all the other factors involved in sound planning. Oregon in only a dozen years, the report concluded, will need at least 15 new parks. *See "Oregon's Sidewalk on the Sea," by Paul A. Zahl, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, November, 1961.