Your Environment Podcast
On this week’s Your Environment podcast, Erik Kulleseid, the executive director of OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks, speaks about the kickoff of a restoration project that will improve the visitor experience for the 300,000 people who come to Fahnestock State Park every year. Stream and listen to Your Environment on the Mid-Hudson News website: www.midhudsonnews.com.
May 3, 2013 – Last week, the Alliance for New York State Parks, along with its public and private partners including the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Taconic Regional Commission of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands state parks, announced the beginning of a major renovation project at the Canopus Lake visitor and recreation area at Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park in northern Putnam County.
To date, $825,000 has been raised toward a $1.2 million goal that will improve and update run-down facilities at the park’s swimming beach and “Winter Park” area, including the café, ski and snowshoe rental area and restrooms.
Half of the money raised so far has been secured through private donations, while the remaining $400,000 was obtained through an Environmental Protection Fund grant awarded through Gov. Cuomo’s Hudson Valley Regional Economic Development Council.
The first project in this multi-phase initiative will remodel and winterize the public bathhouse and update lifeguard facilities. Following completion of this initial phase, rehabilitation work will begin on the main courtyard, café space and winter recreation area. All facets of the project will improve energy and water efficiencies at the site. Additional plans include naturalizing the swimming beach and the trails and pathways in the area, improving sustainability features, installing a fully accessible fishing pier and enhancing recreational and play opportunities at the park.
The Open Space Institute has a long track record in preserving the treasured and irreplaceable landscapes of the Hudson Highlands. Now, through the Alliance, OSI’s commitment to improving your communities extends to improving the public’s access and recreational enjoyment at New York’s state parks.
Less than an hour from New York City, Fahnestock is more than 14,000 acres of protected forests, lakes and streams. The park’s original 2,400 acres were donated in 1929 by Dr. Earnest Fahnestock as a memorial to his brother Clarence. Through multiple large-scale acquisitions, OSI has added nearly 7,000 acres to the park over the last 20 years.
Fahnestock is also one of New York’s most popular parks, welcoming nearly 300,000 visitors a year—among them hikers, campers, cross country skiers, snowshoers, bird enthusiasts and families. We believe these improvements can improve the visitor experience for each of these people.
Today, spurred by its mission of public land stewardship and the challenge of a $1 billion capital backlog at New York’s state parks, OSI, through its Alliance for New York State Parks program, continues to be a leader of New York’s natural resource conservation efforts. The Alliance’s goal is to support state parks though private fundraising, advocacy and fostering partnerships for the long-term benefit of state parks and park patrons.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Fahnestock project or making a donation, please visit www.osiny.org/DonateFahnestock. Your help can make a difference for the state park in your own community.