Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

July 10, 2009

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

Robert Moses State Park Celebrates 50th Anniversary

$2 Million Beach/Camper Registration Area Unveiled

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash and New York Power Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kessel today commemorated the 50th anniversary of Robert Moses State Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the restored beach and camper registration area of the park. The beach complex improvements, which total $2 million, were funded by the New York Power Authority and State Parks.

"For half-century, families and friends have made wonderful memories of camping, fishing and relaxing at the beautiful sand beach at Robert Moses State Park," Ash said. "These improvements will help ensure the park continues to be a popular North Country destination for many more years to come. I'm grateful to the New York Power Authority for its partnership in improving Robert Moses for today's visitors and those of future generations."

"The New York Power Authority is committed to ensuring that the Robert Moses State Park remains a valuable and beautiful resource for the community and we are pleased to join the Parks Department in the critical renovation project," Kessel said.

Senator Joseph Griffo said, "It should be noted that the Parks Department worked hard to ensure that the renovations were done in time for the height of the season. Commissioner Ash and the park employees should be commended. The golden anniversary of the park is one that should be remembered and cherished; there are many state parks in the nation that don't carry the distinction and history that Robert Moses (North) has and the Massena community deserves to have the quality recreational areas that the North Country is renowned for."

Senator Darrel J. Aubertine said, "State Parks and recreation areas are important places where families and friends can enjoy time together. This investment to improve and renovate the Robert Moses State Park is an investment in our quality of life and our sense of community. The New York Power Authority and the State Parks Department recognized this and they have done an outstanding job getting this work done in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Seaway and the summer season. The community and everyone who visits the Massena area will see this park as a family destination for decades to come."

Assemblywoman Addie Russell said, "Robert Moses State Park is tremendous asset to the North Country. With its vast amenities including the Nature Center, hiking and cross-country ski trails, spectacular views, and some of the best fishing in the Northeast, the park provides both U.S. and Canadian citizens with year-round recreational opportunities. This 50th commemoration spotlights one of New York State's greatest attributes - its wonderful State Parks, and Robert Moses State Park is certainly a jewel among all of our Parks."

Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava said, "With more families staying home this summer, it's nice to know that area residents will be able to take advantage of the newly restored Robert Moses State Park. The $2 million renovation project will ensure the park continues to be a sought-after vacation destination for many years to come. I applaud the New York Power Authority and State Parks for recognizing the need to provide this funding."

State Council of Parks Chair Lucy R. Waletzky said, "The improvements we are seeing today are an example of how good partnerships are being employed to take on our parks' greatest challenge - the years of underinvestment that have taken a toll on New York's state park system. The State Council of Parks is newly committed to building partnerships with our Friends groups and other parties so that the parks across the state can be optimally revitalized for our patrons and the birds and other wildlife that inhabit them."

Thousand Islands Parks Commission Chair Harold B. Johnson said, "The celebration of the 50th anniversary of Robert Moses State Park is another proud moment in the over 110-year-old history of the Thousand Islands park system. I am certain Robert Moses State Park will continue to provide many more years of enjoyment for current and future generations of New Yorkers."

The $2 million in beach area improvements are the first major upgrade of the popular beach area since the park opened in 1959. They include the complete rehabilitation and reconfiguration of the 50-year-old bathhouse and campground registration buildings, new walkways, restored beach, and rehabilitated parking area. As part of the 2003 relicensing of the St. Lawrence-FDR power project, State Parks and the New York Power Authority have partnered in a 5-year plan of expansion and rehabilitation at both Robert Moses and Coles Creek State Parks of over $13 million - including over $11 million from NYPA.

Over the past two years, nearly $200 million in capital improvement spending has been authorized for New York's 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. The infusion has enabled the state to begin addressing the estimated $650 million in capital needs of the parks system.

Robert Moses State Park has long association with the power project. In 1959, then-Vice President Richard Nixon hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their tour of the newly opened St. Lawrence Seaway. Built as part of the construction of the FDR-St. Lawrence Power Project and originally named St. Lawrence State Park, the facility was renamed for Robert Moses in 1963 to honor the influential chair of both the New York State Council of Parks and president of the Power Authority.

Robert Moses State Park, which attracts nearly a quarter-million visitors annually, is located partly on the mainland and partly on Barnhart Island. Visitors reach the park through a tunnel under the Eisenhower Lock. The spacious park is home to a large variety of plants and wildlife, and offers a multitude of recreational opportunities, including wooded campsites and cabins, a marina and boat launch, some of the best fishing in the Northeast, picnic areas and a year-round nature center.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation administers 178 parks and 35 state historic sites. For more information about state parks and historic sites in New York, please visit