Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

March 30, 2018

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 | news@parks.ny.gov

State Parks Announces Expansion of Free Public Wi-Fi

Public-Private Partnership with Toyota and American Park Network Provides Connectivity for Visitors

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today announced an expansion of the New York State Parks free public Wi-Fi program at select properties. This season, the much-requested service will be available at Gantry Plaza in Queens, Roberto Clemente in the Bronx, Bear Mountain State Park in the Hudson Valley, and additional locations at Niagara Falls State Park in Western New York this season. The creative public/private partnership is the result of a long-term collaboration between State Parks, Toyota and American Park Network. This expansion builds on the free public Wi-Fi systems already installed at Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Niagara Falls, Saratoga Spa and East River State Parks which host more than 27 million visitors annually.

"New York's remarkable state park system welcomes tens of millions each year, and more and more families are looking to explore the outdoors and make the most of precious leisure time by having access to popular conveniences." said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "Working with our partners, we are pleased to expand this valuable service at these treasured parks and destinations for the coming season, building on our commitment to improving the overall visitor experience. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Toyota and American Park Network, whose generous support has allowed us to enhance our parks, including several of our flagship locations, by adding this much sought-after service."

"The service, called Oh, Ranger!" Wi-Fi™, is part of a program made possible through the support of Toyota, with the equipment, installation, programming, monitoring and maintenance all being provided at no cost to taxpayers. Visitors at the participating parks access the free Wi-Fi in two easy steps by simply selecting the Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi network on their device and then accepting the standard terms and conditions.

In addition to providing free connectivity for millions of visitors, the Toyota-supported public Wi-Fi is a digital information portal that can help educate visitors, identify park visitation patterns, generate awareness of upcoming programs and events, serve as an operations management tool, and promote volunteerism and park Friends groups like the Natural Heritage Trust, which supports New York State Parks.

Wi-Fi is now available for free to the public in parks that receive nearly 40% of total state park visitation. The expanded Wi-Fi presence complements many other exciting developments and visitor improvements in the parks, such as the picnic area at Roberto Clemente, the Cave of the Winds complex at Niagara Falls, which features the new year-round interactive experience, and the addition of a new ferry stop at Gantry Plaza State Park. These sites will now offer visitors the convenience of free connectivity.

Steven Curtis, Vice President, Engagement Marketing and Media, Toyota Motor North America, Inc. said, "Toyota is excited to build upon our partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and American Park Network to provide free public Wi-Fi to these four important parks in New York," said Steven Curtis, vice president, media and engagement marketing, Toyota Motor North America. "We believe our responsibility as a mobility company is to reduce our environmental footprint by developing vehicles like Prius and Mirai. At the same time, we aim to support our partners in their mission to promote greater environmental appreciation and awareness in local communities. We're grateful for this opportunity and hope that it will enhance the experience of visiting these New York public parks."

Mark Saferstein, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief at American Park Network, said, "We're thrilled that Toyota's ongoing commitment allows us to bring free internet to millions of visitors to New York State Parks, as well as to other iconic outdoor destinations all across America. They've set a great example of how corporations can serve the public good. We look forward to collaborating with Toyota to encourage everyone to get outdoors."

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is making an 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.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society's most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

For 30 years, American Park Network has been a leader in providing information and visitor services in support of parks departments nationwide. Reaching 20+ million park visitors each year, its familiar Oh, Ranger! brand is a trusted source of information for both visitors and park managers alike. American Park Network collaborates with corporate and government partners to help forge relationships that serve the public good, while enhancing the park visitor experience. Whether at iconic national tourism destinations like Niagara Falls and Venice Beach, or at parks that cater to the local community, Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™ provides solutions that benefit everyone. For more information, call 212-581-3380 or email to wifi@americanparknetwork.com.

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 and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. 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.