Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

August 23, 2007

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Catherine Jimenez

Commissioners Ash And Hooker Welcome Visitors

(Syracuse, NY....August 23, 2007) New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today joined with Commissioner Patrick Hooker of the Department of Agriculture and Markets to welcome visitors to the New York State Park at the Fair at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.

The State Park at the Fair is a unique mini-park which provides patrons a sample of various programs and activities found throughout the 178 state parks and 35 state historic sites located across the Empire State.

"The State Park at the Fair offers visitors a scenic respite from the crowds and a chance to learn more about our park properties, staff and environmental and recreational programs," Ash said. "We are proud to open our doors to the families and friends who gather at this popular summertime destination and experience a glimpse of the fun and excitement found at our sites in every region of the state."

Commissioners Ash and Hooker toured the park and distributed sunscreen samples and skin care information to patrons, highlighting the importance of skin cancer prevention -- particularly for youngsters -- since the biggest risk for skin cancer is unprotected exposure to the sun during childhood. Among its many outdoor recreation facilities, the State Park system hosts 77 beaches, 51 pools and a sprayground, 27 marinas, 29 golf courses, more than 8,300 campsites and hundreds of miles of trails.

Ash said, "While the upcoming Labor Day weekend traditionally marks the end of summer, sunny days are still ahead and it's also important to remind New Yorkers to take year-round precautions with their skin whether playing or relaxing in the great outdoors. Here at the Fair, we are pleased to supply visitors with sunscreen and valuable tips to prevent overexposure."

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, "Whether I'm hiking in the Adirondacks, camping at a State Park, or baling hay at my farm in Herkimer County, I always protect myself from the sun. I learned the hard way. As a Melanoma survivor, I know it holds no exemptions for people that tan easily, for farmers that work outside or for those that love the sun. Therefore, I ask you to remember to be safe and protect your skin first when working and playing in the sun."

According to the State Department of Health, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In anticipation of September as National Skin Care Awareness Month, the SPF 30 sunscreen is being made available at select park events.

The State Park at the Fair is a three-acre mini park is located within the State Fairgrounds on Iroquois Street between the McNeil & Co. Art and Home Center and the Pepsi International Pavilion. The park features a visitor welcome center, gift pavilion, picnic benches, a large reflecting pool and a miniature golf course. Special attractions at this year's State Park at the Fair include a raptor/birds of prey exhibit, a replica of a Canal Lock and buoy boat from the State Canal Corporation, educational programming from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, demonstrations on building a bluebird house, a Park Police display, information on the Empire State Games, copies of the 2008 State Parks and Historic Sites Calendar available for purchase and much more.

Information regarding state parks and state historic sites can be obtained by calling 518.474.0456 or visiting the agency's website at