After nearly 30 years of delays, Palmetto State Park, just outside of Abbeville, is slated to open in October. For a little while. With current slashes in staffing at existing state parks, the newest natural wonder in Louisiana will only briefly open its oaks before it closes at the end of December.

Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle, whose office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism oversees state parks, said he was able to juggle the budget enough to allow the park to open for three months. To attempt to keep the park open beyond the end of 2010, the "Palmetto Island State Park Fund" has been set up through the Community Foundation of Acadiana in conjunction with the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion Parish Tourism Commission. The public/private partnership will have to raise $500,000 to keep the gates open past January.

Angelle told the Times-Picayune that the opening of Palmetto Island State Park is “consistent with our plan to attract more nature-based tourism. This park will help cure NDD, Nature Deficit Disorder” in the state.

The park has six two-bedroom cabins each sleeping up to eight visitors, a visitors center, a 96-site campground, four picnic pavilions, a nature trail, a floating pier, an aquatic interpretive center and other amenities. Too bad nobody’s going to get to use them.

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