Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 07, 2010

Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

New York State Parks and the Town of Hamburg Announce Partnership to Operate Woodlawn Beach State Park

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Town of Hamburg announced today that a partnership agreement has been reached to ensure public access to Woodlawn Beach State Park outside of Buffalo for the next ten years.

State Parks Acting Commissioner Andy Beers noted that OPRHP has a long history of developing partnerships with a broad spectrum of public and private partners to secure operating and capital support for the State Park System. These partnerships exist in a variety of forms, including concession agreements, non-profit operating arrangements, friends groups, inter-governmental collaborations and sponsorships. In response to state budget reductions, the agency is redoubling its efforts to strengthen these existing partnerships and develop new ones.

"In these challenging economic times, State Parks is committed to finding creative and practical solutions to continuing important public services. Partnership agreements such as this one are critical to maintaining the high quality of the New York State Park system," Beers said. "I'm grateful to the Town of Hamburg for working with us to ensure that Woodlawn Beach State Park remains a valued recreational and natural resource for Hamburg residents, as well as visitors from the greater Buffalo area and beyond."

"We are excited about partnering with New York State Parks to make certain that Woodlawn Beach remains open to the public," stated Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven J. Walters. "This park is a jewel for our community and to reach this agreement demonstrates both the Town's and State Parks' commitment to ensuring it remains an important asset to Western New York. We are grateful to State Parks for this commitment."

Under the 10-year agreement, which takes effect this spring, Town of Hamburg employees will assume park operations, including park maintenance and providing a lifeguard-protected swimming area. The state will retain ownership of the beach, but the town will receive all revenue generated at the park, including parking fees and picnic shelter rentals. The park will remain named Woodlawn Beach State Park and will continue to be open to the general public.

Woodlawn Beach State Park includes a beautiful, one-mile long natural sand beach with panoramic views and spectacular sunsets on Lake Erie. Recreational opportunities are plentiful and include picnicking, beach volleyball, nature trails and a playground on the beach. Woodlawn Beach also shelters a diversity of wildlife habitats including one of the finest freshwater sand dune areas remaining on Lake Erie.