April 26, 2013
Acquisition protects Adirondack foothills in fast-growing Saratoga County
Completion of outdoor classroom/pavilion latest park improvement under New York Works
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey today announced the state added a 200-acre parcel to Moreau Lake State Park, expanding popular hiking opportunities in the Adirondack foothills and preserving open space in fast-growing Saratoga County. Additionally, Commissioner Harvey announced that work has been completed on a new pavilion/outdoor classroom near the park's nature center.
"I'm grateful to Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the parks and recreational opportunities that make New York State more attractive to residents, visitors and businesses," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "As Saratoga County grows, it's critical that we balance economic development with natural resource protection. Moreau Lake State Park is visited by hundreds of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year and the 200-acre acquisition will substantially expand the popular trail network in the park while preserving open space."
Located on the southern edge of Moreau Lake State Park, the acquisition expands the park's protection of the higher elevation ridge known as the Palmertown Range. Preservation of the Palmertown Range, which features a Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest, is listed as a priority under the New York State Open Space Plan, and will contribute to a planned long-distance Palmertown Ridge Trail.
"It is exciting to see another piece of the puzzle in place. Saratoga PLAN has been collaborating with many partners and trail user groups to advance the vision of a countywide trail network for both recreation and transportation. The Palmertown Ridge Trail is a crucial link in what we call the 'alternative Northway,' which will eventually connect Moreau with Mechanicville and beyond," said Maria Trabka, Executive Director of Saratoga P.L.A.N.
"Moreau Lake State Park is a tremendous asset for those who live in and around Saratoga County. It is also an important part of the local tourism economy, particularly since it offers one of state park's most popular camping destinations. This expansion makes a great park even better by enhancing recreational opportunities and protecting valuable green space in a growing community," said Erik Kulleseid, Executive Director of the Alliance for New York State Parks, a program of the Open Space Institute.
Harvey said the visitor experience will be further improved by the completion of a new pavilion in front of the park nature center. The pavilion will enable school groups to participate in outdoor programming under cover, and will be available for public rental for picnics and special events. Rain gutters on the pavilion drain to a newly installed rain garden to help preserve the outstanding water quality of Moreau Lake. The new pavilion is part of a $550,000 contract that also includes rebuilding the campground Loop A comfort station under the Governor's New York Works initiative. This new restroom building, located just around the corner from the main parking area, is fully accessible and heated to support year-round recreational use of the park. The project was awarded to a local contractor, Catalfamo Construction of Washington County.
Last year, the park's crumbling campground roads were repaved and sustainable improvements were made to the beachfront parking area through the New York Works fund. Governor Cuomo has committed a total of $179 million in total funding -- $90 million in 2013-14 and $89 million in 2012-13 -- through the New York Works initiative to rehabilitate dozens of state parks and historic sites, addressing a backlog of capital needs in parks and spurring job creation and economic development.
In addition to an extensive hiking trail network, the now 4,500-acre Moreau Lake State Park features a sandy swimming beach, nature center and playgrounds, wooded campsites, and shady picnic grove and is visited by 400,000 annually. Park staff offer guided hikes and year-round programming to introduce people to the park.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobsFor more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.