If you plan on driving to any Alaska State Park in the upcoming year, you may want to purchase a 2018 annual parking pass. The Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation is selling the year-long pass, which is a car decal.
There are six state parks in the Kodiak Archipelago, three of which are accessible by car: Fort Abercrombie State Park, Buskin River State Park, and Pasagshak State Park. All three require patrons to have a decal or day parking pass.
Parking used to be free at Kodiak parks, but recently charging a parking fee became a good way for the parks to raise funds. That’s according to Preston Kroes the Kodiak area chief ranger.
“A couple years ago, some folks may remember we were close to being shut down here in the Kodiak area, and the main reason we’re still here and operating is because of these decal sales.”
The funds generated by the parking permits sold in Kodiak don’t go directly to the region’s parks, but it does make park services possible.
“We pick up litter. We clean the outhouses. We supply toilet paper, new picnic tables, everything that a lot of people kind of take for granted and don’t stop to think about is what these funds go towards.”
The decals apply to all Alaska State Parks accessible by car. Kroes says one of the reasons the decals are available now is to try and take advantage of the holiday season. He thinks they make great gifts.
“People get to get out and enjoy the parks and get outdoors and recreate, get some exercise. So, I mean if you got a friend or a loved one you can kind of get them in the park and get them outside.”
Kroes says the decals will go into effect January 1st. The Kodiak parks department will give some leeway to people who haven’t switched over by the beginning of the new year but only for a little bit.