March 19, 2018
"Our state parks are natural treasures that offer extraordinary outdoor recreational opportunities, attract tourists who support local economies and draw people together," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage New Yorkers to participate in I Love My Park Day to enjoy all our parks have to offer and help us to protect and preserve our system for generations to come."
Volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in clean up events at more than 120 state parks, historic sites and public lands from Jones Beach State Park to Niagara Falls State Park and covering all regions in between, including sites operated by the Department of Environmental Conservation, the National Park Service and municipal parks. Registration for I Love My Park Day can be completed by visiting https://www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day.
Volunteers will celebrate New York's public lands by cleaning up debris, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitats, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects. The New York State Commission on Volunteer and Community Service is joining the effort again this year to help recruit volunteers, promote the initiative and provide support to projects across the state. Members of the New York State Excelsior Conservation Corps, a New York State AmeriCorps program run by the Student Conservation Association, will help State Parks organize and implement I Love My Park Day projects.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Volunteers are vital partners in making our park system the very best it can be. I look forward to joining with Parks & Trails New York to welcome thousands of volunteers for our seventh I Love My Park Day, so we can all work together in a positive way to improve our communities and our state."
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, "The renaissance of New York's State Park System, thanks to Governor Cuomo's historic reinvestment, is a joy to behold, as is the demonstration of support for parks by friends, volunteers and partners on the annual I Love My Park Day. This year, on the seventh anniversary of the event, we're excited to include state parks and historic sites, public lands and campgrounds managed by NYS DEC, and National Park sites across the state. Now, there are even more opportunities to give back to treasured outdoor places in every region of the state."
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York State is home to some of the most spectacular state parks, historic sites, and public lands in the world. Whether you're introducing a small child to the wonders of nature for the first time, or enjoying a peaceful walk with a grandparent, our State's magnificent parks system has something to offer outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. DEC is a proud partner of I Love My Park Day and I encourage everyone to consider volunteering at an I Love My Park Day event near you to help promote, protect and preserve your favorite park."
I Love My Park Day complements Governor Cuomo's effort to revitalize and transform the state park system. 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 2018-19 Executive Budget commits $90 million toward this initiative.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 71 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.