The Friends of Hodges Gardens announced, today, that the state park is set to close on the first of October. The Office of State Parks has failed to uphold its contractual obligation to sufficiently fund and continuously operate Hodges Gardens.
The Office of State Parks released the following news release late yesterday--
"Effective October 1, 2017, Hodges Gardens will return to the administration of the A.J. and Nona Triggs Hodges Foundation. We appreciate the guests who have visited the park over the last 10 years."
While it is unclear at this time what the A. J. and Nona Trigg Hodges Foundation plan to do with our precious Garden in the Forest. It is abundantly clear that state government has failed the citizens of Louisiana by not keeping this one of a kind botanical garden in our state park system.
Friends wishes to thank all who wrote letters and contacted their Legislators, the Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Office of State Parks in our efforts to keep Hodges Gardens State Park open for the enjoyment of the public.
In 2007, the A.J. and Nona Triggs Hodges Foundation donated 948 acres to the State of Louisiana to become a state park. It operates under a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the Hodges Foundation.
"There's a clause in the agreement between the State and the Hodges Foundation that permits the foundation to take the land back if the state does not properly fund the park. I don't know what can be done to stop the closure," Mary Brocato, former member of the Hodges Gardens board of directors, said, back in March.
Hodges Gardens State Park is the only botanical garden in the state and it is listed on the national register.