The Open Space Institute applauds Governor Paterson and the Legislature for the recently enacted State 2008-2009 New York State budget which includes the most funds ever for New York State Parks and open space protection. The new State budget includes an unprecedented $95 million for badly needed repairs and improvements at State Parks.
Further, the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), a dedicated fund for critical environmental programs, contains record amounts for open space and farmland protection.
The EPF now totals $255 million, $66.575 million of which will be available for land acquisition, up from $55 million last year and $30 million for farmland protection, up $2 million. The EPF also includes $1.57 million, or a 57% increase, in funding for the for the New York State Conservation Partnership Program that is administered by the Land Trust Alliance Northeast Program.