Area campgrounds reopen to the delight of campers

Local News

In a step toward getting back to normal, malls, retail stores, dental offices and fitness centers in our area opened back up on Friday, with some restrictions.

Campgrounds are also reopening and it’s a moment for which many have been waiting . Campers began filling into West Lake campground early Friday morning. Earlier than what park officials planned.

“We told people that we were opening at 8 o’clock just so we didn’t have a big rush,” says Roger Kean, Scott County Conservation Board Executive Director. “But they were actually waiting at the gate at 6 o’clock this morning.”

But there are some new restrictions.

“We are only allowing self-contained camping units, which means they have to have their own water and sewer systems,” says Kean. “So we’re not allowing tent camping or anything like that that’s more primitive.”

So no bathrooms or playgrounds. And social distancing is still encouraged.

But that’s no worry to campers, especially those who need the space.

“That’s our home,” says camper Gary Lewis. “That’s the only home we have.”

Lewis and his wife live out of their camper.

“We enjoy seeing the country,” continued Lewis. “There’s so much to see and we don’t have to worry about a hotel room, or anything else. We sleep in our own bed every night no matter where we’re at.”

So naturally the opening is big deal for them.

“It’s a blessing because if they [campgrounds] weren’t we wouldn’t have any place to stay, except someone’s driveway,” added Lewis.

It’s equally as big of a relief for the parks.

“Camping is big part of our parks. It’s a big part of our revenue generation,” says Kean. “We’re typically full every single weekend.”

And if Friday is any indication, that’s what you can expect going forward.

Scott County Park campground is also open. Buffalo Shores in not open because they’re still cleaning up from flooding but hope to be open soon.

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