November 04, 2016
State Parks Press Office:
Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 | email@example.com
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) celebrated the groundbreaking of the $664,000 Creekside Classroom project today at Saratoga Spa State Park. This multi-purpose facility will provide a new classroom space for the park's environmental and docent programs. Funding for the project was made available through Governor Cuomo's NY Parks 2020 Program.
"Thanks to the support from Governor Cuomo's Parks 2020 Plan, we can continue to revitalize our state park system and expand the opportunities for both children and adults to further connect with nature," said New York State Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Rose Harvey.
The project includes transforming an old public restroom into a new multi-purpose facility featuring an indoor classroom for the park's environmental education programming. Added interpretive signage and maps of the park will provide another level of orienteering and information for the over 1 million park visitors annually. Additionally, the project will also include an outdoor fire ring with seating, a rain garden area, benches, and serve as a warming hut during the winter months. The project is scheduled to be completed for summer 2017. Once the project is completed, the classroom will provide the necessary multi-purpose space to host school groups for all types of programming events.
New York State is offering state grants to public schools throughout New York State to fund field trips to state parks and historic sites for environmental, history and physical education programming. Funding for the $500,000 Connect Kids to Parks Transportation Grant program comes from the state Environmental Protection Fund's enhanced Environmental Justice programming approved in the 2016-17 State Budget. The grant is available to Kindergarten-12th grade classes in Title 1 public schools. To date more than 140 schools across the state have applied for the grant.
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is making a historic commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2016-17 State Budget allocates $90 million toward this initiative.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 65 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.