CAMDEN, AL -- On Sunday, June 27, 2021, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey helped unveil the new boat docking facility at Roland Cooper State Park near her hometown of Camden.
The new pier – shaped like the letter T – measures 160 feet long and 128 feet wide and will significantly expand the available dockage for recreational boaters. It is designed to be the park’s first handicap-accessible dock.
“Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant in our State Parks system, and it’s gratifying to see a new option that increases access to people right here in my hometown,” Gov. Ivey said. “My administration is committed to strengthening and expanding outdoor recreation in our state, and we recognize that the Alabama State Parks system opens true Alabama treasures to everyone.”
The new pier at Roland Cooper State Park cost $269,0000, with $183,000 provided by a Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Funding for the BIG program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Local elected and business leaders joined Ivey at today’s ribbon cutting ceremony for the pier, as did Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship, Alabama Department of Environmental Management Director Lance LeFleur, and Pam Swanner, Director of Alabama Black Belt Adventures.
“We are extremely appreciative and proud that this new pier will allow more boaters to enjoy Roland Cooper State Park and the Alabama River,” Blankenship said. “We’re proud that our State Parks offer an amazing menu of outdoors adventures, and this is simply another way to make it easier for people to enjoy Alabama The Beautiful."
Gov. Ivey also announced her support earlier this year for an $80 million bond issue to fund renovations at State Parks, which would fund a variety of upgrades such as expanding campgrounds, adding cabins and improving internet connectivity.
A majority of funding for State Parks – approximately 80-to-90 percent annually – is generated through user fees for rental, lodging, golf and other park amenities. The system’s finances can also be impacted unexpectedly, such as the tornado that damaged Oak Mountain State Park earlier this year or Hurricane Sally damaging Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores last fall.
About Alabama’s State Parks System
The Alabama State Parks is a division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and maintains 21 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water in Alabama. The parks range from Gulf Coast beaches to the Appalachian Mountains and provide opportunities and facilities from basic day-use activities to resort convention lodging, restaurants and golfing areas. These parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Learn more at www.alapark.com. Partners Pay the Way.
About Roland Cooper State Park
On the banks of the Alabama River in Wilcox County, the park features 55 RV sites, 15 primitive camping sites and more than a dozen cabins. The park is known as a perfect place for fishing, kayaking, picnicking, hiking and mountain biking. Learn more at https://www.alapark.com/parks/roland-cooper-state-park.