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April 5, 2016

Dear Friend,

Growing up, the times I got to spend in nature and state parks were some of my most formative experiences. Exploring the unbroken woods around my family’s house, next to Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, helped shape my independence and self-reliance. As a teenager, lifeguarding at Harriman's Lake Welch showed me the widespread appeal of parks, as carloads of visitors drove in from New York City for a needed escape to nature and cool waters.

This appreciation for parks and all they offer to visitors underscores my commitment to enhancing, protecting and expanding parks for future generations to explore. I am proud that the Open Space Institute and its Alliance for New York State Parks program are making significant progress in transforming state parks while driving greater public investment in them.

Thanks to you, OSI is achieving great things at New York’s parks. Where we are working, the park experience is vastly improved, and provides visitors with a memorable and modern-day experience.

As the Alliance embarks on another park season, we ask that you recommit to transforming and protecting this legacy for future generations. This spring, your gift will help us complete the restoration of Minnewaska’s glorious Castle Point Carriage Road.

As always, I welcome your input and thoughts. But most of all, I express my gratitude for your support in restoring our parks as sources of pride, community vitality and economic strength. Read on to learn more about some of our recent work.

Erik Signature

Erik Kulleseid, Executive Director
Alliance for New York State Parks

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Minnewaska Carriage Road Restoration Progress
Castle point carriage road, allianceI know you and your family enjoy the great outdoors as we all do. With this spring update on our work comes our request to show your support for the restoration of the carriage roads at Minnewaska State Park.

We have successfully restored the Hamilton Point Carriage Road and want to keep up the momentum. Please consider a gift to finish the Castle Point Carriage Road.

The Castle Point project is funded through several generous foundations and individuals, as well as the Friends of the Shawangunks. Together they have committed $630,000 toward the project, and challenged us to raise the $70,000 balance necessary to complete the work. Your contribution will show much-needed community support for our beloved Minnewaska Carriage Roads.

Make a donation to help us finish the much needed work as we await the warmer weather.

Read more about the campaign for Castle Point Carriage Road.

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On the Rise: Governor Leads Way for Increased Funding for State Parks and the Environment
This year began with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic pledge of $300 million for the state’s Environmental Protection Fund—coupled with the latest $90 million installment to upgrade and repair state parks. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the legislature, our state parks are on an historic upswing. It’s hard to believe that just five years ago, scores of state parks across New York were on the verge of being shuttered due to state budget cuts.

OSI and our conservation partners also applaud the recently approved spending plan that includes an historic $300 million commitment to the state's Environmental Protection Fund. 

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Transforming Park Gateways
Thacher Groundbreaking Albany 2015Letchworth Ground Breaking Ceremony May 2015On the ground, OSI continues to spearhead fundraising for capital projects that enhance some of the state’s signature parks. These ambitious initiatives at Letchworth, Thacher and Minnewaska will provide welcoming gateways and other amenities connecting park patrons to the outdoors. Together, the projects will encourage visitors to explore the parks’ exceptional beauty and abundant natural resources.

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Who’s Visiting State Parks?

Pulse of the Parks: Sunken Meadow

Hand-in-hand with these park enhancement efforts are our visitor demographic studies, aimed at demonstrating how the parks are valued. This past year, the Pulse of the Parks series captured visitor data that is informing park planning and communication efforts at Minnewaska, Fahnestock, Bear Mountain and Sunken Meadow State Parks. Read the latest installment on Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island, NY.

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Mission

The Alliance for New York State Parks is a program of the Open Space Institute. The mission of the Alliance is to protect and enhance New York’s unparalleled state parks and historic
sites for present and future generations.


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