By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The state park in Warren County could be the first of its kind in Virginia to feature a zip line course.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation plans to gather public comments for a proposed tree canopy adventure course at Raymond R. "Andy" Guest Jr. Shenandoah River State Park near Bentonville. The DCR manages state parks in Virginia.
The agency will hold the public input meeting at 6:30 p.m., May 30, in the park visitor center, 350 Daughter of Stars Drive, Bentonville.
If approved, the park would be the first among other facilities in the state to feature a course as proposed, according to Julie Buchanan, public relations specialist with the department.
Virginia Canopy Tours LLC, which submitted the proposal, would like to begin running the adventure course by March 2013, Buchanan said.
Buchanan noted that the proposal is unique for the agency. The DCR has in the past allowed private companies to operate other amenities, such as concessions and rentals for horses or bicycles on state-park property, Buchanan said Friday.
The course would feature a series of above-ground zip lines, observation areas and platforms, according to a press release issued Friday by the state agency. Equipment would be connected to trees and other supporting devices, the release states.
If the DCR accepts the company's proposal, the agency must amend the park's master plan, according to the release. Amendments to a park's master plan requires the agency hold public meetings.
Approval of the master plan amendment would come from the DCR board, Buchanan explained.
Staff with the agency and Virginia Canopy Tours will provide more information at the meeting and answer questions about the proposal.
Virginia Canopy Tours submitted the idea under the state's Public Private Educational Facilities Infrastructure Act -- another unique aspect of the proposal, according to Buchanan.
The private firm, under the PPEA proposal, would design, build and operate the course under existing state laws and regulations, according to the release. The company would compensate DCR financially for conducting business on park property, the release states.
The agency also will accept comments in writing through June 29. Send comments to Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Attn. Chuck Wyatt, 203 Governor St., Richmond, VA 23219.