Wallkill Flats

Alliance for New York State Parks Applauds Governor, Legislature for Reversing Decades of Decline at State Parks and Historic Sites

Image Credit: Steve Aaron

Albany, NY – March 27, 2012 – Decades of underinvestment and physical decline at New York’s 213 state parks and historic sites will be reversed under the newly announced 2012-13 state budget.   

The Alliance for New York State Parks praised the governor and members of the legislature for agreeing to an $89 million increase for infrastructure repairs, upgrades and restorations at 48 state parks and historic sites.  

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for recognizing that New Yorkers deserve parks they can be proud of, rather than a system defined by failing bathrooms and bridges, crumbling trails and stonework and outdated water and electrical systems,” said Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Alliance for New York State Parks.  

“It is also important to note that this initiative, funded through the New York Works Infrastructure Fund, will support local construction and engineering jobs and secure valuable tourist destinations,” said Kulleseid.  “From shovel-ready construction projects to ensuring that locations like Niagara Falls remain attractive and welcoming, parks mean jobs and stronger local economies.”   

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has identified a backlog of capital rehabilitation needs across the 213 state parks and historic sites, with 83 percent of properties impacted by deteriorating infrastructure.   The capital backlog list totals $1.1 billion, of which $461 million is associated with basic health and safety projects and $595 million with deteriorated and worn-out facilities in need of rehabilitation.  
“The Alliance looks forward to working with the administration and OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey to find ways to augment public funding and leverage the state’s commitment though additional private fundraising in order to recover from decades of underinvestment in our state parks and historic sites,” added Kulleseid.  

The Alliance for New York State Parks, a program of the Open Space Institute, is committed to the restoration, maintenance and support of New York’s state parks and historic sites.  A primary goal of the Alliance is building stronger public-private partnerships.  As such, the Alliance is supporting a number capital campaigns at parks and sites throughout the state.

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