Major improvements in the works for New York’s state parks

Albany, NY – April 23, 2012 – New York’s State Parks are in store for an extreme makeover thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature.

Reversing a decades-long trend of underinvestment, this year’s budget includes $143 million for repairs, upgrades and improvements for the beleaguered state park system. The newly enacted spending plan contains $89 million in new state park capital funding, which in turn will leverage another $54 million in additional state, federal and private funds.

Fifty priority projects at parks across the state have been identified for construction this year. Projects range from large-scale overhauls of water and sewer systems and repairs to roadways to the rehabilitation of bathhouses, swimming pools and camping areas.

Download the complete list here.

“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they can be proud of, rather than a system defined by failing bathrooms and bridges, crumbling trails and stonework and outdated water and electrical systems,” said Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Alliance for New York State Parks. “This year’s action is a first step toward rebuilding New York’s once great system of 213 state parks and historic sites.” 

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 continue to 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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