WHAT IS THE ROLE OF STATE PARKS IN CONSERVATION?
Mississippi boasts 25 state parks located from the Tennessee border to the Gulf of Mexico. With abundant activities, historic sites, and recreational opportunities, visiting our state parks is a fun, affordable way to spend time in nature.
The State Parks Bureau accomplishes our conservation objectives by addressing the three central themes of the MDWFP's mission:
I. CONSERVE AND ENHANCE MISSISSIPPI'S WILDLIFE, FISHERIES, AND PARKS
The State Parks Bureau is charged with managing Mississippi's state park facilities, amenities, and natural areas, and making recommendations for improvements and future use of state parks.
II. PROVIDE QUALITY OUTDOOR RECREATION
Mississippi's state parks provide an abundance of recreational opportunities including activities like fishing, hiking, camping, canoeing, boating, golf and disc golf, swimming, and wildlife viewing. State parks provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying Mississippi's natural beauty and spending quality time outdoors with family and friends.
Recreational Trails Program
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) manages funds appropriated from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for users including: hiking, walking, running, wheelchair, biking, equestrian, water trails, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, and other off-road motorized vehicles.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program was established to assist in preserving and developing outdoor recreation resources to ensure their availability for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The LWCF program, funded by the Department of Interior, is administered at the state level by State Parks for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation sites and facilities.
III. ENGAGE THE PUBLIC IN NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION
State parks host a variety of programs and events for youth, families, outdoor enthusiasts, and senior adults each year including programs and events centered on conservation education and/or outdoor recreation.
Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan
The State Parks Bureau oversees and the development and implementation of a five year plan known as the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreational Plan (SCORP). The purpose of the SCORP is to gather and identify the demands, needs, and resources of outdoor recreation of Mississippi and address the issues affecting outdoor recreation. Public participation in the preparation of the SCORP includes public meetings, a public survey, and a 30-day public comment period of the draft plan.