Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 13, 2007

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Catherine Jimenez

Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky Appointed As Chair Of State Council

(Albany, New York, Friday, April 13, 2007 . . . ) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Acting Commissioner Carol Ash today announced that Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky, M.D., has been appointed by Governor Eliot Spitzer to serve as Chair of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

"Lucy Waletzky is well-respected as a powerful advocate for protecting New York's natural resources, and she has made a lasting commitment to preserving our environment and unique habitats," said Governor Spitzer. "I am gratified that Dr. Waletzky has accepted the challenge of serving as Chair of the State Council of Parks and am confident that she will serve the people of state with dedication and distinction."

Prior to being appointed as Chair of the State Council of Parks, Dr. Waletzky served as Chair of the Taconic Regional Parks Commission and a member of the New York State Council on Parks. Dr. Waletzky is a founding board member of the Friends of Rockefeller State Park Preserve, responsible for helping to create a new master plan and four-year biodiversity study. She works closely with the State Parks' environmental management program to bring a particular focus to birds, wildlife habitat and the health of forests, meadows, wetlands and streams.

"Lucy Waletzky's commitment to preserving open space and protecting our natural resources has had a tremendous impact on our state parklands," said Ash. "As State Council Chair, Lucy's leadership and vision for the future will play an instrumental role in developing and expanding successful stewardship and land conservation initiatives across New York as we continue to the lead the nation in critical environmental protection efforts."

Dr. Waletzky served for six years as a board member of the National Audubon Society where she worked to create, fund and develop a pesticide reduction program now being implemented across the country. As a member of the Westchester County Pest Management Committee, Dr. Waletzky created, developed and implemented an annual No Pesticides Day. She currently serves on the board of The Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a research and education center dedicated to the study of rivers and estuaries worldwide.

Dr. Waletzky is a practicing psychiatrist and serves on the Board of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She graduated from Wellesley College and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. Her background as a physician led to a concern about the effects of pesticides and other toxins on the health of people and wildlife.

Dr. Waletzky's father, the late Laurance Rockefeller, succeeded Robert Moses as Chair of the State Council of Parks in 1963, serving for 10 years; he was a member of the State Council for 30 years. Dr. Waletzky's lifelong environmental philanthropy and exposure to family role models contributed to her active environmental work. She has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the Parks and Preservation Award by the State of New York.

The New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation consists of the Chairs of the eleven regional park commissions, the Commissioner of State Parks, the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Chair of the State Board of Historic Preservation. The function of the council is to advise, make recommendations and report on the progress of all matters affecting state parks, recreation and historic preservation.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 176 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, please call 518-474-0456 or online,