March 19, 2019
"New York's state parks, trails, forests and historic sites offer world-class outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities, support tourism and grow local economies," Governor Cuomo said. "These partnership groups are essential to the continued success of our state parks, and today's grants will help leverage the programming and fundraising efforts of these organizations to build a better state parks system for generations to come."
"New York is home to some of the most beautiful parks and iconic historic sites in the world," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this grant funding, we're continuing to invest in them statewide to increase our commitment to tourism and ensure their success in the future."
The Park and Trail Partnership Program grants, funded through the Environmental Protection Fund, will be matched by more than $150,000 in private and local funding. The Park and Trail Partnership Program grants are designed to:
The awardees are, by region:
Central New York:
New York City:
Western New York:
The Park and Trail Partnership Program complements Governor Cuomo's historic commitment to revitalizing and transforming the state's parks and public lands for outdoor recreation. The Governor's Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks. The 2019-20 Executive Budget includes $110 million toward this initiative.
Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers by working with community organizations and municipalities to envision, create, promote, and protect a growing network of parks, greenways and trails throughout the state for all to use and enjoy.
Acting Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Across New York State, Friends Groups are crucial to building and enhancing a quality experience for park visitors. I applaud these Friends Groups for their efforts to improve parks, trails and historic sites - and I thank Parks & Trails New York for its work to support them."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York State is home to some of the most magnificent parks, historic sites, and public lands in the nation and Governor Cuomo recognizes the power these special places possess to draw millions of outdoor enthusiasts from around the world to experience their unrivaled beauty each year. The Governor's historic investments in the Environmental Protection Fund help support local economies and the many partners who share our passion for protecting, preserving, and responsibly promoting New York's vast and thriving network of parks and trails."
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, "It's inspiring to see the transformational effect of the Park and Trail Partnership Program grants and how they are enhancing the ability of Friends groups to make an even greater contribution to the stewardship of New York's great outdoor spaces. These grant funds will enable groups to leverage more private and federal funding, marshal more volunteer power, and augment the state's historic investment in parks, trails and other public outdoor places."
Senator José Serrano, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, said, "As attendance to State Parks continues to rise each year, it is more important than ever to support the groups that improve, care for, and maintain New York's greatest natural and historic treasures. The Park and Trail Partnership Program grants will make it possible for Friends groups to strengthen and expand their role as the stewards of our parks and historic sites, ensuring that New Yorkers across the state can continue to enjoy all of the wonderful recreational and educational opportunities they offer."
Assembly Member Daniel J. O'Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, and Sports Development, said, "Our parks, trails, and green spaces provide countless New Yorkers with recreation opportunities and ways to connect with nature. The awarded grants will do wonders in expanding and maintaining these gems."
Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "Harnessing the beauty of New York's parks and public lands not only bolsters tourism and economic development, but also helps foster awareness of how vitally important it is to preserve our environment and natural resources. I look forward to seeing the benefits of these grants, both on Long Island, as well as throughout our great State as a whole."
Assembly Member Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "Stewardship organizations are the unsung heroes of our State's parks and public lands. Born out of a deep and collective caring for our natural areas, these Friends organizations are powered by volunteers who roll their sleeves up to perform maintenance, lead educational programs and nature walks, and raise funds for special projects. Grants to these homegrown stewardship groups earn a windfall return in helping to augment the work of State Parks and the DEC."