By Sam Conner
A group of city officials and citizens met with Arizona State Parks Director Bryan Martyn at La Posada last Friday to hear him speak and answer questions about Homolovi and other state parks.
Martyn said that he had been visiting and camping out in state parks, getting to know them and the people who work in them. He noted that his job and the job of the state are to protect, manage and allow public access to the historic state parks like Homolovi. He said that first impressions are important, and that a bad impression at a state park may mean that a visitor would not go to another one.
He said that volunteers from the local community are very important, as the number of fulltime employees at state parks is down considerably from what it once was. He noted that he was in Winslow to listen to the people about their concerns and ideas on how to run, improve and advertise Homolovi and other state parks.
Martyn also spoke of the role of the State Historic Preservation Organization (SHPO). He said that their help on historical projects is invaluable.
City Manager Stephen Pauken, City Attorney Dale Patton and several council members were present, as were Old Trails Museum Director Ann Mary Lutzick and five Harvey Girls, Peggy Nelson, Chris Pane, Marie LaMarr, Ruth Grant and Tess Kenna.
LaMarr suggested a postcard with photos of a building at Homolovi, and Martyn agreed that was a good idea.
Another suggestion was to include information about the Navajo County Little Painted Desert Park near Homolovi.
Dan Lutzick spoke about a difficulty the city and La Posada have had with federal regulations that make projects more expensive by requiring the hiring of consultants and engineers who are not available locally and not familiar with the area.
Martyn said that he would attempt to help that situation.
The state director noted that the state parks would use private contractors to provide concessions and some services, but that the state would still be managing, protecting and promoting the parks.
By Sam Conner