Land for Recreation

Alliance for New York State Parks

Photo Credit: Eric Kreiger

Preserve, Protect and Advance

OSI's Alliance for New York State Parks protects and enhances New York’s unequaled state parks and historic sites for present and future generations. Our work aims to improve the park visitor experience by making them more welcoming and appealing for first-time explorers to seasoned adventurers – and everyone in between.    

After decades of success in creating and adding acres to state parks, the creation of the Alliance in 2010 was a natural evolution for OSI. Following decades of underinvestment, the state park system had fallen into disrepair. A backlog of needed repairs and upgrades totaled more than a billion dollars. 

OSI formed the Alliance to bolster efforts to address the serious challenges facing the system and kicked off its work by issuing a transformational report with its partner, Parks & Trails New York, calling attention to the range and severity of the backlog. The report, Protect their Future: New York’s State Parks in Crisis, documented the myriad of health and safety projects, as well as the system’s worn-out and deteriorated facilities. 

Today, through a combination of advocacy, private investment, constituency building – and state leadership – state parks are on the upswing. Governor Andrew Cuomo met the challenges of state parks with a ten year, one billion dollar NY Parks 2020 initiative. 

At the same time, the Alliance is leveraging these public investments by raising private funds and enhancing park projects to make them more welcoming, engaging and exciting.

Examples of successful Alliance campaigns include: Carriage Road Restoration at Minnewaska State Park Preserve; a renovated Canopus Lake beach complex at Fahnestock State Park; the new Humphrey Nature Center at Letchworth State Park and the new Thacher Park Center at John Boyd Thacher State Park.

Complementing the Alliance’s success in improving state parks and supporting recreation, OSI has taken this commitment to other landscapes in which we work. Examples include development of the new River to Ridge Trail connecting the city of New Paltz to the Shawangunk Ridge and extensive trail and recreation projects in Maine and South Carolina. 

It is incumbent upon individuals and organizations in the private sector to come together in support of our great but challenged state park system. The Alliance aims to be the catalyst to make that happen.

Support for the OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks comes from Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky, the Dyson Foundation, the Butler Conservation Fund and other generous donors.

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