CARMEL, NY (Nov. 3, 2016)—A successful public-private campaign to revitalize the Canopus Lake Beach Complex at Fahnestock State Park will be celebrated at a community open house on Sunday, November 6, 2016.
The project was jointly funded by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Open Space Institute, the Taconic Regional Commission of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Parks.
Over the past two years, the campaign raised $1.25 million in grants and private funding towards the $2 million project to improve and update run-down public facilities. The campaign has led to improvements at the park’s beloved swimming beach and “Winter Park” areas, including entrance and terrace spaces, the café, the ski and snowshoe rental area and year-round restrooms.
$850,000 of the $1.25 million came through private donations, while the remaining $400,000 was secured from a New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant awarded through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Hudson Valley Regional Economic Development Council.
The recently-completed renovations to the main courtyard, café space and winter recreation area come a year after the opening of a newly improved and winterized public bathhouse, and updated lifeguard facilities. All facets of the projects improved the facilities’ energy and water efficiencies at the site.
Future plans for the park include improving trailheads along Route 301, naturalizing the swimming beach and trails and pathways in the Canopus area, improving sustainability features, installing a fully accessible fishing pier, and enhancing recreational and play opportunities at the park.
“The improvements at Fahnestock State Park are a great example of how public dollars can leverage private funding to improve parks and recreational facilities in our communities. I’m grateful to OSI Lucy Waletzky and the Taconic Regional Commission; and the Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Parks for their commitment to this exciting project,” said New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey.
“The Open Space Institute has a long track record in preserving the treasured and irreplaceable landscapes of the Hudson Highlands, with an emphasis on building state parks. This commitment to these wonderful public spaces is helping to improve overall access and recreational enjoyment, with the goal of building the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO.
“I am proud of the partnership that came together to improve the visitor experience here at Fahnestock, especially as we create a more comfortable four-season experience for all who love this park.” said Dr. Lucy Waletzky, chair of the New York State Council of Parks and the Taconic Regional Commission. “With winter approaching, we expect the new café and cross-country ski rental area to be particularly popular, as skiers of all levels head out to enjoy the lovely trails just steps from the new facility.”
“With more than 300,000 visitors a year – including swimmers, hikers, campers, cross country skiers, snow shoers and bird enthusiasts, the improvements we celebrate today will have a terrific impact on a wide range of park visitors throughout the year,” said Katrina Shindledecker, president of the Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Parks.
“Public-private partnerships such as this are what make it possible to continue operating our parks and serving the public,” said Linda Cooper, Regional Director of New York State Parks Taconic Region. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to this fantastic facility, whether they’re coming to the beach in the summer, hitting the cross country ski trails in the winter, or just passing through on a hike. Bravo to OSI, our regional commission and all donors who have demonstrated their dedicated stewardship of Fahnestock State Park.”Less than an hour from New York City, Fahnestock State Park offers more than 14,000 acres of protected forests, lakes and streams. The park’s original 2,400 acres were donated in 1929 by Dr. Earnest Fahnestock as a memorial to his brother Clarence.
For decades the Open Space Institute has recognized New York’s Hudson Highlands as a priority landscape. Through multiple large-scale acquisitions, the Open Space Institute has added nearly 7,000 acres to Fahnestock State Park.