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Arkadelphia Siftings Herald - Arkadelphia, AR
  • DeGray State Park remains open; US Army Corps campsites closed

  • DeGray Lake Resort State Park remains open even during the government shut down.
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  • DeGray Lake Resort State Park remains open even during the government shut down.  
    “This is a state park so we do not depend on federal funding to run our facilities.  None of the facilities in the state park system are affected by the shut down,” said park interpreter Elizabeth Bittner.  
    The lodge, campground, restaurant, golf course, boat ramps, and all other facilities at the state park are operating normally.  
    “The marina boat ramp is closed due to low water” says Bittner, “but the DeRoche Ridge boat ramp and the Caddo Bend boat ramp remain open.”  
    Bittner said that nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facilities have been closed due to the government shut down so campers should note carefully which campground they planned to stay in to determine whether they need to make alternate arrangements.  
    “We hope to see the Corps of Engineers facilities open again soon, but anyone who was planning to stay in their campgrounds can come on over to our campground or lodge. We have plenty of space for most of October and on through the winter,” said Bittner.  
    To make reservations for a campsite, YURT, or a lodge room guests can call 501-865-5810 or visit the website at www.degray.com.
    The park will continue to offer all its scheduled interpretive programs including the upcoming National Dutch Oven Gathering open house on Saturday, Oct. 19. During the free open house there will be demonstrations on how to use a Dutch oven and an opportunity to visit the “cooking village” where National Dutch Oven Gathering participants will be showing off their best dishes and cooking techniques. Many will even have samples to share with the curious.  
    A full schedule of demonstrations can be viewed at www.degray.com. For those who want in-depth, hands on lessons in Dutch oven cooking, members of the Central Arkansas Dutch Oven Group will be offering an opportunity to “Adopt a Chef” after the Saturday open house from 4–7 p.m. Each participating group will receive a 12-inch Dutch oven to take home, recipes to try, and admission to the evening Dutch oven pot luck supper. The chef will guide you step-by-step through the process of making a delicious Dutch oven dish. All ingredients will be provided. The cost per group is $50 for up to six participants. Individuals are welcome to register as well, but the cost will be the same.  Please call a park interpreter at 501-865-5813 to register.  There will also be a canned food drive during the open house with all donations going to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
    Locals, please note that the Caddo Bend day use area will be closed to the public for the Dutch oven event from Oct. 17-20 (with the exception of the open house). The Caddo Bend boat ramp will be closed on Oct. 19 only.  At this time, a few campsites and one YURT have opened up for those who want to camp at the park during the gathering. Lodge rooms are also available.  
    Page 2 of 2 - The park is located off Highway 7 between Hot Springs and Arkadelphia, six miles north of I-30 at Caddo Valley (exit 78).

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