May 21, 2018
"For decades, Long Island's state parks have drawn families for recreation and relaxation, and we continue to make the parks attractive and welcoming for all New Yorkers and visitors alike," Governor Cuomo said. "From the Long Island Sound to the North and South Forks and all along the miles of sandy beaches, Long Island is filled with natural beauty. These new improvements and opportunities will encourage more people to visit and discover this wonderful park system for themselves."
This week, State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey is touring several state parks on Long Island to celebrate the improvements.
"Governor Cuomo's historic investment into state parks is rejuvenating and modernizing the park system which truly energizes our local economies," said State Parks Commissioner Harvey. "These improvements both enhance our system and welcome new opportunities for both visitors and businesses alike."
First State Cottages on Long Island
Long Island's first state vacation cottages at Wildwood State Park on the Long Island Sound open Memorial Day Weekend. Select cottages at Heckscher State Park on the Great South Bay are now available to book online and will be open in time for the July 4th holiday weekend.
Available beginning Memorial Day weekend, seven cottages at Wildwood State Park will feature both one-and-two-bedroom units, as well as a bathroom, kitchenette, screened porch and select furnishings. Three additional cabins will be completed and available for rental in time for the July 4th weekend.
Five full-service cottages at Heckscher State Park are now online and will be available beginning the July 4th weekend. Of the first cottages to come online, 4 will be one-bedroom units and 1 will be a two-bedroom with a loft. Each will feature a kitchenette, bathroom and screened-in porch furnished with sleep sofa, dining table and chairs, Adirondack chairs, stove, refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, toaster and basic kitchen necessities. Fifteen total cottages are being constructed at Heckscher State Park with the remaining being completed by spring 2019.
The cottages at Wildwood and Heckscher will be available for public rental beginning each spring and through the fall each year.
Jones Beach State Park
The $20 million Jones Beach Boardwalk Café is expected to open its doors in time for the July 4th holiday weekend. The Boardwalk Café brings back a popular dining option and restores the historic vitality along the Central Mall at the heart of Jones Beach. The café will be operated by Centerplate, a concessionaire offering hospitality services at the park. Adjacent to the Boardwalk café the new spray ground suitable for all ages will be open in time for the July 4th weekend.
The Jones Beach segment of the Ocean Parkway multiuse path is currently under construction for a 2.5-mile extension from the current end of the Boardwalk to the West End 2 Building. This extension will permit users of the path to travel the full length of the park. The improvements will create a total of six miles of trail.
Robert Moses State Park
The Robert Moses State Park marina is now open and for the first time will welcome overnight boating accommodations. The $3.4 million, 45 slip marina is available on a first-come first-serve basis. Available through Columbus Day weekend, slips can accommodate vessels up to 42 feet and are now equipped with plumbing and electrical service. For additional information and a complete list of the marina regulations, please call (631) 669-0449.
The renovation of the bathhouse/concession facility at the park's popular Field 5 beach is completed. The existing core building spaces are completely renovated, featuring new windows and doors, painted ceilings, tile walls and floors, and new restroom fixtures including the addition of family restroom facilities. The renovated concession space features local and homegrown Taste NY products. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were replaced with modern energy saving equipment as well as energy reducing, water consumption reducing and nitrogen reducing systems.
Sunken Meadow State Park
Those arriving at Sunken Meadow State Park this summer can expect a reconstructed and automated entrance plaza, revitalized event space, renovated bathhouse, and improved golf course all designed to improve the visitor experience.
$2.5 million reconstruction and transformation of the park entrance plaza will improve traffic flow and provide for automated payment. The redesigned plaza showcases architectural features of the existing park structures, including unique bullnose brick patterning and glass block details from the existing on-site bathhouses.
The extensive renovation of the Sunken Meadow West Pavilion, event space for wedding receptions, sweet-16 parties, and family reunions, was a public-private partnership with Lessing's Hospitality Group, a concessionaire operating the pavilion for New York State Parks.
The renovation of the Main Bathhouse includes an improved Park Visitor information office with an environmental education center, Park Police and Lifeguard Offices and upgraded restrooms. This project is still ongoing with additional exterior improvements planned.
Improved Golf Course
A $3 million upgrade of the golf course complex includes a renovated golf entranceway, professional shop in the Clubhouse and restrooms. Throughout 27-hole golf course, greens, fairways and bunkers were improved and a new irrigation system was installed on the Blue and Red Courses and a golf cart path on the Red Course was installed.
Sunken Meadow Creek
In addition, this fall, State Parks will finalize $2.5 million in work to restore the Sunken Meadow Creek marshland with the reconstruction of Parking Field 2. In partnership with Save the Sound and The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, State Parks will construct this "green" parking field to control storm water run-off, build storm resiliency and protect water quality in the sound. The project will reduce the amount of pavement in Field 2 and include a rain garden/ bio swale and permeable surface. Previous work included a comprehensive tidal wetland restoration project that targeted the removal of invasive species and the replanting of native, noninvasive plants to control erosion and run-off.
Napeague State Park
New public access to Napeague State Park is completed and features two miles of new trails, a parking area and interpretive signage about the region's historic fishing industry. The new "Promised Land" trail network provides access to a pristine South Fork bay beach that has not been available to the public in 40 years.
Improvements include a trailhead and ten-car parking area at the intersection of Lazy Point Road (aka Cranberry Hole Road) and Napeague Meadow Road in Amagansett. The trail network includes a short loop, 1.5-mile main loop, a beach loop, and a short spur to an overlook and interpretive kiosk with information about the Smith Meal Fish Factory, which produced menhaden fish for fish meal in area known as the Promised Land on Napeague Bay.
The largely undeveloped 1,364-acre Napeague State Park on the South Fork of Long Island borders both the Atlantic Ocean and Napeague Bay, and offers hiking, fishing, hunting and birding. It is part of a complex of state parks that include Montauk Point, Camp Hero, Montauk Downs and Hither Hills State Parks that offer a wide variety of activities, such as golf, camping, swimming and fishing.
Senator Phil Boyle said, "With the summer beach and park season at our door, the timing could not be more perfect to announce the outstanding upgrades, improvement and additions to Long Island's world renowned park system. Every step we take to improve the already impressive beaches and parks will only serve to benefit the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors that will be making Long Island a part of their summer destinations. I applaud Rose Harvey and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for their innovation and for once again making New York, and especially Long Island, the one to emulate."
Senator John E. Brooks said, "I had the opportunity to tour the new Jones Beach Boardwalk Cafe, The State has done an excellent job in getting this facility prepared. Jones Beach is one of the state's top tourist attractions. I compliment Governor Cuomo and the parks management on this significant investment."
Senator John J. Flanagan said, "As we enter the summer season, these worthwhile projects will allow Long Islanders to better enjoy the wonder of our natural resources. Our state parks are truly magnificent family destinations that provide our residents with a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of Long Island. I look forward to continuing to work with everyone to ensure that our state remains dedicated to preserving and enhancing New York State's parks so that they can be enjoyed by residents as well as those who visit our region."
Assemblyman Michael J. Fitzpatrick said, "To keep Sunken Meadow and our State Park System in good shape and attractive to our residents, Governor Cuomo has been very good to us here on Long Island. I thank him for this commitment and look forward to seeing these projects completed and available to all New Yorkers."
Assemblyman David G. McDonough said, "I am looking forward to the opening of the Jones Beach Boardwalk Café which is slated for the July 4th holiday weekend. This is an incredible addition to the Jones Beach State Park, which is in my district, and is the crown jewel of State Parks on Long Island. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to improving our Parks throughout New York State."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Under Governor Cuomo, New York continues to be showcased as the beautiful, historic state it has become. Providing residents with more reasons to stay in New York for vacation than leave is a mission that Governor Cuomo is achieving every day."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Our state and county parks on Long Island are second to none, and these improvements to our state facilities in Suffolk County are a warm welcome heading into Memorial Day Weekend. I thank Governor Cuomo for this significant investment so that our pristine beaches, cottages, and other amenities are readily available for anyone planning a visit."
Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said, "The Babylon Town Board and I are excited about the improvements made by Governor Cuomo and the State Parks Department, especially at Robert Moses State Park here in Babylon. We can't wait for another beautiful summer in the Town of Babylon and across New York State."
Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said, "Our Long Island parks are an invaluable source of recreation, beauty and enjoyment to millions of residents and visitors each year. We are grateful for the support of the State, and Governor Cuomo's continued investment in our area. With these improvements made possible by this funding, the South Shore is ready to lead the way this summer as we head into Memorial Day weekend."
Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim said, "I want to first commend the Governor who has made Ecological restoration a priority here in Smithtown. In addition to the wetland/marshland restoration, our residents are eagerly anticipating the wonderful additions at Sunken Meadow State Park this summer which include everything from an automated payment system to renovated event spaces and a premiere golf course."
The park improvements reflect Governor Cuomo's commitment to revitalizing the state park system. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 initiative is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2018-19 State Budget allocates $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.