Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

February 27, 2008

Eileen Larrabee

Saratoga PLAN Director to Lead New York State Parks Saratoga-Capital Region

Revitalizing State Parks system among challenges facing new appointee

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today announced that Alane Ball Chinian has been named Director of the Saratoga-Capital Region.

"For decades, Alane Ball Chinian has been working on the front lines to build sustainable communities through her work improving public access to the outdoors, preserving irreplaceable natural assets, and promoting livable neighborhoods," Ash said. "I am confident the Saratoga-Capital Region and the State Parks system as a whole will profit from her experience, leadership and vision."

Since it formed in 2003, Chinian has been the executive director of Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land And Nature) following the merger of the Open Space Project and the Land Trust of the Saratoga Region. She was previously executive director of the Open Space Project since 1998. In addition, she served for over a decade in various roles at The Nature Conservancy, Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, and Regenerative Building Construction.

Ash noted that Chinian joins the agency at a time when Governor Eliot Spitzer's budget proposal contains a major initiative to address decades of underinvestment in the State Parks system, including over $14.8 million to upgrade facilities in the Saratoga-Capital Region.

"I'm thrilled to have a proven steward like Alane aboard during this demanding and exciting time," Ash said. "With her intimate knowledge of environmental and open space issues, along with her strong local ties, she is the ideal fit to confront the challenges we face revitalizing our State Parks and ensuring they are adding to a high quality of life and vibrant economy in our communities."

Chinian holds a master's in environmental management and policy from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor's in art history and anthropology from Hamilton College. In addition, Chinian has served the community in roles with the Village of Cambridge Planning Board, Friends of the West Hoosick Hills, and the Rensselaer-Taconic Land Conservancy and The Arts Center of the Capital Region, among others.

New York State Parks Saratoga-Capital Region includes a dozen State Parks, including Saratoga Spa, Grafton Lake, Moreau Lake, John Boyd Thacher and Cherry Plain; numerous historic sites, such as Crown Point, John Brown Farm, Johnson Hall and the Schuyler Mansion; along with several boat launches and recreation trails.