Rumors are a strange phenomenon, and false rumors like the one spread by Reese Turner in his letter to the editor (“Islanders should be in an uproar over park closing,” The Daily News, May 25) can be injurious to Galveston Island State Park and to those who might be deprived of his future spending and the spending of those influenced by his false rumor. The entire park isn’t shutting down for three years, and that’s as close as you can get to facts “straight from the horse’s mouth.”

I’ve been a member of The Friends of Galveston Island State Park for more than 15 years, and a member of the board of directors for a good part of that time. The board meets monthly, and the park super regularly reports on future plans, so we know what the plans really are and the park won’t be closed for three years.

Yes, part of the park will be closed, but a much larger part and the vast majority of the physical and natural assets will be open.

Turner well knows that FM 3005 runs right through the park, and he knows that it splits the park into two unequally sized sections. The smaller sliver on the south or beach side will be closed, but the much larger north or bay side will remain open.

It’s the bay side that has perhaps 75 percent of the total land area, vast majority of the coastal prairie, all seven of the hiking trails, the nature center displays, three of the four paved roadways, all three kayak launches and paddling trails, all of the bay periphery bayous, coves and marshes, all the sport fishing, both observation platforms, two bird blinds, all the good birding spots, 20 of the 38 RV camping spots, all 10 tent camping spots, and on and on, but I won’t go on and on.

Suffice it to say that only those sunburn worshippers will notice that any part of the park is closed. All the regularly scheduled activities, except the beach exploration, take place on the bay side anyhow.

When the beach side reopens, all the damage done by Hurricane Ike will have been repaired or replaced with finer up to date facilities including 130 spanking new RV camping spots and improved tent camping, as well as improved beach day use access and facilities. So please, Mr. Turner don’t let the rumors scare you away from the park for three years. You might have to book further ahead, but as the commercial says, “We’ll keep the light on for you.”

Let us know where you found this misinformation so we can go there and correct it. We’ll eternally be grateful. We’d like to ensure that no one is deprived of enjoying the park or otherwise harmed because of false rumors.

Frank Bowser lives in Galveston.

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(6) comments

Steve Fouga

I'm happy to receive this more official news of the Park's closure. Like Mr. Turner, I was also under the impression that the entire park would be closed; seems like I read about it somewhere -- probably this newspaper -- and misunderstood what I read.

Hopefully the beach itself will remain open, so walkers and cyclists can use it during the 3 years...?

David Schuler

This makes it worse - three years to complete work on just the beach side?

Bailey Jones

There's a simple lesson here - before you go to the trouble of writing an editorial, go to the trouble of checking the facts. It took me exactly 2 minutes.

John Merritt

I think the Galveston News story clearly said the park was closing for 3 years.

Stephanie Martin

Only the beach side? I can assure you that when most families come to Galveston, the beach is their main destination.

Reese Turner

Beach side of state park, the best side by far! We “sun-worshipers†hook up motorhomes and campers while we go out to eat at Gaido’s, Pier 21 or play mini-golf, or real golf. Five nights last trip. We spent over $250 for beach stuff, food, beer, wine and gas at Wal-Mart alone. My wife was in “Strand Support†mode while I played golf at Moody. What do day-tripper, nature-walkers spend? Bay side is “day-tripperâ€, bug chaser, bird-watcher, fisher-person side. Not for us. Home is three hours away. I don’t drive for hours to walk a nature trail or kayak. No sleeping, no spending! Grand-children demand beach time, having no time for nature walks through mosquito breeding areas. I salute the wonderful investment, BUT three years closure for only 136 parking spots with water and electricity with a few baths and main building? I’ve watched entire Wal-Mart parking lots created in a month and Super-Centers built in six months. Who benefits from this three year delay?

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