New York State to invest $90 million to repair and upgrade State Parks

Albany, NY – April 2, 2013 – New York’s 214 state parks and historic sites are in line for another round of capital investments to repair and upgrade many of the system’s dilapidated and outdated facilities. Included in the final 2013-14 state budget is $90 million for much-needed state parks capital improvements.  

“After decades of underinvestment, the facelift at state parks continues!  Governor Cuomo and members of the Legislature deserve great credit and thanks for aggressively responding to the needs at our state parks and the 60 million visitors they attract each year,” said Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Alliance for New York State Park.  “This second installment represents a true commitment to our parks on the part of the state; boosting efforts to raise complementary private dollars and bolstering opportunities for strong public-private partnerships.”       

The budget agreement also funds the state’s Environmental Protection Fund at $152 million – an increase of $19 million over last year.

“The continued and long-overdue investment in state parks, along with the significant expansion of the Environmental Protection Fund, represents a clear understanding that our parks and natural resources and among the state’s most important assets and are deserving of meaningful attention and smart investment,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of the Open Space Institute.

“After decades of deferred maintenance and under investment in New York’s state parks, Governor Cuomo and the legislature have renewed and confirmed the state’s strong commitment to restoring the state’s once world class state parks, which today face a capital backlog total nearing $1 billion,” said Kulleseid. 

Last year’s state budget included a historic $89 million in funding for state park capital improvements. To date, nearly all of that funding has been spent or is under contract for projects aimed at repairing and improving state parks and historic sites.

“This second installment underscores the growing recognition that parks are important natural recreational, cultural and economic assets,” said Kulleseid.  “With parks growing in popularity, these funds will be put to good use in renewing the parks and enhancing visitor experience throughout the system.”  

A program of the Open Space Institute, the Alliance supports New York’s state parks by private fundraising, advocacy and fostering partnerships for the long-term benefits of parks and park-goers.

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