July 15, 2009
For Release: Immediate
'Green' building provides visitor information, public meeting space, new bathrooms
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash was on hand today as officials opened a new public facility at Hamlin Beach State Park. Joined by Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, Genesee Region Parks Commissioner Chairman Peter Humphrey and his fellow commissioners, Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Town of Hamlin Supervisor Denny Roach, Commissioner Ash cut the ribbon on the building that will serve as the park headquarters for the New York State Park Police as well as for Hamlin Beach Park management.
The $1.6 million building will enhance the safety of the quarter-million people who visit the park each year. Along with modern space for Park Police and staff, the facility will also provide for interpretive information for patrons to learn more about the park, public restrooms and meeting facilities that can be rented by the public.
"We are so pleased to dedicate this building that will enhance the safety and visitor experience of the quarter-million people who enjoy the park each year. This new building, which employs sustainable features such as a high efficiency building envelope, high efficiency heating and mechanical systems and computerized energy management system, is a strong sign of the progress being made in our effort to revitalize our State Parks," said Commissioner Ash.
"Hamlin Beach State Park is truly an asset to the Genesee region and we are pleased to dedicate this new building to the thousands of visitors that come to Hamlin Beach State Park each year. Not only will park staff now have adequate work space, our Park Police will have a facility that provides technology and resources that they need and most importantly, the public will have a gathering place in the park where they can meet and learn more about this wonderful place," said Genesee Region Commission Chairman Peter G. Humphrey.
Completion of this facility is part of the agency's push toward the revitalization of New York's 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. 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.
"It's heartening for the residents of the 139th Assembly District to have facilities such as this in a park as scenic and accessible as Hamlin Beach is. During these hard economic times more and more families are choosing to stay closer to home when recreating. This building and its contents will further enhance the positive experience for park visitors," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley.
Senator George Maziarz, who represents the park but was unable to attend the event, said, "This is a welcome investment at Hamlin Beach State Park, a beautiful spot to camp or picnic on the Lake Ontario shoreline. The new administrative facility will provide improved amenities for visitors while also making the 'behind the scenes' work of running the park a little bit easier. The result is a better park for everyone."
"New York's spectacular and historic state parks continue to show their age and many are need of the kind or repair and improvement we see today here at Hamlin Beach. The State Council of Parks is committed to working in partnership with Regional Parks Commissions, Friends groups and other parties as we continue our efforts to revitalize our state park system," said Lucy Waletzky, Chair of the State Council of Parks.
"The State Park Police are thankful for this modern and convenient base of operations at Hamlin Beach, which will help us better serve the public and keep what is already a safe park system peaceful and enjoyable for our visitors," said Richard O'Donnell, State Parks Director of Law Enforcement.
Ash noted that revitalizing the park system will ensure it remains a valuable economic asset for the state. A new report by the Political Economy Research Institute prepared for Parks & Trails New York found that direct spending by State Parks and its visitors generate $1.9 billion in sales for private businesses - 40 percent of which is from tourists and visitors who live outside the communities in which the parks are located. Parks in the Genesee region generate $58 million in economic activity and support 675 jobs - not including State Parks employees.
The Hamlin Beach facility was built by contractors Edward Hulme of Warsaw; DJ Beardsley Electric of Castile; DV Brown Mechanical Contractor of Tonawanda and Unified Mechanical Contractor of Geneva, who together employed over 20 people on the project and purchased materials from over a dozen local suppliers.
Hamlin Beach State Park boasts clear water, sandy beaches and 264 tent and trailer sites. The environmental education center in the Yanty Creek Marsh area at the east end of the park has a mile-long self-guided nature trail. In addition, there are 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails. Visitors can launch car-top boats, fish for salmon and trout and enjoy the picnic facilities.
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 www.nysparks.com.