Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 12, 2006

Wendy Gibson

State Parks Acquires 290 Acres Including Golf Course

Land along Lake Ontario Expands Recreation at Fair Haven Beach State Park

(Albany, New York...April 12, 2006) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Bernadette Castro today announced a land acquisition of 290 acres including an 18-hole golf course to expand Fair Haven Beach State Park near the Village of Fair Haven, Cayuga County. Located along the south shore of Lake Ontario, the new parklands will expand the size of Fair Haven Beach State Park to 1,113 acres and increase access to the public golf course for residents and visitors to the region.

Commissioner Castro said, "Under Governor Pataki's leadership, we have increased the environmental and recreational values of scenic waterfronts and parklands all across the Empire State. Here along Lake Ontario we are proud to add this new property, increasing not only the size but recreational activities at the popular lakefront Fair Haven Beach State Park. With the addition of the 18-hole golf course, we can now offer public golfers in the region affordable rounds of play at a well-maintained, challenging course in yet another beautiful setting."

Supported through the state's Environmental Protection Fund, the $883,350 purchase from Springbrook Greens, Ltd. and the Cooper family includes the Springbrook Greens Golf Course and 107 acres of wetlands consisting of the southern half of Sterling Marsh and Springbrook Creek.

The acquisition of the marsh property places the majority of Sterling Marsh under State ownership and provides the connection between Fair Haven Beach State Park and the new golf course. Sterling Marsh is a rich ecological community that is dominated by cattail and a number of interesting plant species including: black willow, speckled alder, swamp rose, buttonbush, white water lily, Turk's cap lily, common frogbit, and stiff arrowhead. Animal life found in the marsh includes wood duck, great blue heron, marsh hawk, belted kingfisher, red-winged black bird, least bittern, marsh wren, sedge wren, muskrat, northern water snake and painted turtle.

The Springbrook Greens Golf Course was established in 1995, expanding to 18 holes three years later. The course offers both links-style holes and traditional wooded holes. With the course's signature hole (#11) overlooking Sterling Marsh with distant views to Lake Ontario, the new property offers a variety of scenic waterfront views. This latest acquisition increases the number of State Parks golf courses to 28 statewide, ranging from championship courses, including Long Island's Bethpage Black, site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open and Green Lakes State Park near Syracuse.

Established in 1928, Fair Haven Beach State Park welcomes more than 300,000 visitors annually. In 2005, the park was named as one of Reserve America's Top Outdoor Locations and in 2004 it was selected as one of the Top 100 Campgrounds in the nation. Fair Haven Beach State Park has one of the finest public lakefronts in upstate New York, with high bluffs above sandy beaches and hilly woodlands. Inland, there is Sterling Pond, surrounded by a full range of overnight accommodations from campsites to cabins and full-service vacation rentals. The park is also noted for its swimming and excellent fishing.

This latest addition to state parkland furthers the longstanding environmental goals set by the Governor that have made New York a national leader in open space protection and natural resource stewardship. Since 1995, Governor Pataki has opened 23 new state parks and announced expansions to existing parks in every region of the state.

In a two-year period the State announced new state parks with the acquisition of Robert V. Riddell State Park in Otsego and Amsterdam Beach in Montauk, opening of Two Rivers State Park in Tioga, Jamesport State Park and Preserve in Suffolk County, Robert G. Wehle State Park in Jefferson County, and Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua and the expansion of Rockefeller Preserve and Fahnestock State Parks in the Hudson Valley, Delta Lake in Central New York and Thacher and Saratoga Spa State Parks in the Capital District.