Thirteen Arizona state parks slated to close due to extreme budget cuts will remain open thanks to a combination of public and private partnerships.
The Arizona Republic reports that counties, cities, friends of state parks groups and private donors have all contributed to keep the parks opened, despite the state legislature's cut of $71.7 million from the state parks budget during the 2009 through 2011 fiscal years.
The State Parks Board is expected to approve the plan to keep the parks open at a meeting later this month.
"When the parks got in trouble, these communities stepped up to keep them open. In a lot of ways, we made new friends or friends we didn't know we have," assistant state parks director Jay Ream told the newspaper. "It's going to be a great summer for the people of Arizona because the parks will remain open."
Officials say four parks, including Homolovi Ruins, Jerome, McFarland and Oracle will remain closed, however officials say they may reopen if additional agreements can be worked out with local communities