NEW YORK, NY (April 3, 2018) — The Open Space Institute (OSI) today commended Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the state legislature for their unparalleled leadership in protecting New York’s natural resources, maintaining an unwavering commitment to improving New York’s state parks, and promoting expanded and improved recreational opportunities for residents throughout the state.
The final budget agreement maintains an historic $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), sustains funding for improvements and upgrades to New York State Parks, and continues to lead the way in connecting smart land acquisition to clean water; expanded access to outdoor recreation; and healthier communities.
“With a budget that provides protections for New York’s public lands, New York State is on the wise path of land conservation and stewardship today and into the future,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “The final agreement underscores the value of protected land as a source for clean water, a place to explore and recreate, and an important economic asset for communities and local businesses.”
Additionally, the budget maintains momentum on the 10-year commitment outlined in Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 plan and Adventure NY initiatives to revitalize state parks and DEC properties and make them more accessible, appealing, and welcoming for generations of park visitors.
OSI is grateful to Governor Cuomo for presenting a forward-thinking environmental blueprint and particularly appreciative to Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright; Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Tom O’Mara; Assembly Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee Chair Daniel O’Donnell; and Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation Committee Chair Rich Funke, for the critical roles they played in achieving this remarkable final budget.
Among New York’s leading land conservation organizations, OSI has conserved 143,000 acres in New York State through our 40 years of history. These conservation transactions achieve a variety of goals, including creating and expanding parks, protecting habitat, mitigating the effects of climate change, and protecting water sources.
Through its Alliance for New York State Parks program, OSI has extended its commitment to public enjoyment of parks through advocacy, private fundraising, and support of public-private endeavors that are adding to the revitalization of New York’s magnificent state park system.