Mammoth Cave Guests Dwindling?

Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world, but one thing that seems to be dwindling is the number of visitors.

Vickie Carson says for the last 15 to 20 years there has been a gradual decline in the number of guests.

Carson says there's been a decline in the number of visitors in national parks across the country. She says there are a number theories as to why attendance has decreased.

"Some of the different theories have to do with how families spend their leisure time, if children are allowed to go outside or not, whether or not they learn to embrace nature", said Carson.

Mammoth Cave is now working to change those numbers and increase the number of guests. She says the Environmental Education Staff teaches classes for schools to help kids experience nature.

"That helps them learn about the park and what kind of place it is and things that you can do here", said Carson.

She hopes the students will then encourage their parents to visit the park as a family.

Area caves are also working together to cross-sell their tickets.

"So if you're at Lost River, or Diamond Caverns, or Hidden River Cave in Horse Cave, or Kentucky Caverns, you can purchase a ticket there to come here."

Or if you're at Mammoth Cave you can buy tickets to the other caves.

The park is also working with various tourism departments and guides to increase its visibility.

For more information on Mammoth Cave National Park you can log onto http://www.nps.gov/archive/maca/home.htm


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