Letter: Grand Isle park not like in letter

Greetings, I am the park manager at the beautiful Grand Isle State Park. This is in response to the scathing review of my park that was published a few days ago.

My opinion of the nauseating review is that some of it is true, some of it is exaggerated and some of it is false.

Truth: We are in a portable building right now, we are understaffed, the crabbing pier is 50 percent closed and our computers don’t move as fast as the newest Apple computer. But that is not a reflection of the park or its staff. Budget cuts are real, and we can feel them here with the Office of State Parks.

False: Carolyn Schexnayder was not a camper, she was only here for a Wildlife and Fisheries rodeo on June 8. What’s more is that we cut the grass weekly. The grass was cut the day before that event and the day after.

Exaggerated: On any weekend during the summer, visitation is steady and habitual. The lines would form whether our computers were lightning fast or not. Again, she came on June 8, which was a Saturday. Park visitation is always like that on Friday and Saturday, but mostly subdued throughout the week. Also there was an issue with SweeDee, the sanitation company that we contract with, on that exact week. This can be verified by Ray Williams at SweeDee’s Houma office.

Our dumpster had completely rusted out and the dump truck driver went to lift the dumpster and all of the trash fell out. The driver notified no one! I called upward of 20 times between June 3 and June 10 to get a new dumpster and get the mound of trash picked up. Was the trash “five feet high”? Not at all, and I have pictures to prove it.

Word of mouth is still a very powerful tool and Schexnayder’s review is a contradiction of everything that she supposedly stands for. If she wants the park to be beautiful again like the 20 years that she’s come here; we need those visitors, we need those volunteers, we need those donations, we need HELP! So why would she make an effort to deter that? Instead of saying that we’ve lost a visitor, she should’ve said that we’ve gained a volunteer/donor/sponsor. We are doing our best to stay afloat out here and when I read a review like that, it gives the impression that we are here twiddling our thumbs. That is the most offensive part! Because I know how hard I and my staff work to maintain this park.

River Smith, manager

Grand Isle State Park

Grand Isle