Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

August 18, 2009

Rob Hiltbrand

New York State Parks Celebrate Day Use Improvements To Betty And Wilbur Davis State Park Outside Of Cooperstown

New Playground, Restrooms, Parking Area and Park Office are Result of Continuing Financial Gifts from Park's Namesakes

More than $300,000 worth of improvements to Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park in Westford, Otsego County were unveiled today by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The extensive improvements come in the form of a new playground, public restrooms, park office, entrance road and parking lot.

"There is no way to adequately express our appreciation to Betty and Wilbur Davis for their continuing generosity and dedication to this wonderful park. We are truly honored and inspired by their spirit, support and friendship. On behalf of Governor David Paterson and all New Yorkers who share their commitment to stewardship and preservation, thank you for single-handedly transforming your family getaway to a wonderful park that will be enjoyed for generations."

The land and the subsequent improvements were gifts from Betty and Wilbur Davis. The couple, who long-treasured their 190-acre hilltop property with expansive scenic views, rolling meadows and small ponds, generously donated the land to the state in 2001 in order to preserve the spot and share their experiences. All totaled, Betty and Wilbur Davis have donated more than $2 million for the development of the park.

The improvements to Betty and Wilbur Davis State Park are part of an ongoing effort to revitalize New York's State Parks. Over the past two years, Governor Paterson and the Legislature authorized nearly $200 million in capital improvement spending 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

The park is a well-known for its six full-service cabins which have been steadily growing in popularity since they were first offered in 2006. The newly installed improvements will not only provide additional features for overnight patrons, but will also be enjoyed by day use visitors, with the pavilion being available for rental for picnics and parties.

In addition to the new amenities, the park features an extensive network of hiking trails and two ponds for catch-and-release fishing. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobile trails that connect to the state corridor trail system.The six full-service cottages accommodate eight guests and each offer 1,000 sq foot, authentic log cabins with a full pine interior and a selection of handcrafted furniture. The kitchens feature a dishwasher, microwave, dishes and utensils, and other amenities include bedding and towels.

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