Have you ever wondered what goes into opening a campground after it's been closed all winter?
Well it's pretty simple but there's a lot of work that goes into it. The Area Managers move into the area to get the ball rolling. They survey campgrounds and picnic areas to evaluate winter weather damage that will need to be addressed. From there, they determine when to schedule arrival dates for the campground managers. Permit administrators are met with, phones and other utilities are turned on, managers move into their host sites, and the work begins.
Spring weather is often bipolar and adds to the challenge of getting a campground open. It is difficult to remove pine needles, branches or even trees or rocks off campground roads, parking lots and boat launches when it is under a blanket of snow. Late snow storms delay, and sometimes add to, our work.
Memorial Weekend is when the majority of campgrounds open for the season. Some may open earlier if weather permits. When Mother Nature insists on hanging on to her winter coat, some valiant efforts are made by our managers to hurry her along. If the area has a tractor, we can remove snow off the campground roads. The exposed pavement helps to warm up the campground when the sun finally appears.
Equipment must be de-winterized and prepped for use. This is a project in itself that is different for each area. As a minimum we have a company truck, golf carts (gas and/or electric), weed eaters, blowers and chainsaws. Some areas have hedge trimmers, mowers (push and riding), tractors, etc.
Water systems have to be turned on and the water certified for safe drinking for the public. Snow on the ground adds to the challenge of finding the spring and all the valves in the forest. If the winter was harsh on pipes, repairs must be made. Plumbing experience is invaluable for campground managers.
Hazard trees must be identified and removed before it is safe for the public to enter. Area Managers are trained in hazard tree identification and they coordinate with permit administrators for their removal. Qualified campground managers or a contractor will fall the trees depending on the size and number of trees as well as our equipment available and experience of our managers.
So, we're working like crazy to get the campgrounds open for you! We can't wait to see you!