Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Letchworth State Park photo Jim Vallee

Open Space Institute Celebrates Governor Cuomo’s Continued Support for Revitalizing New York’s State Parks

EPF and New York Works Expansions Provide Financial Commitment to Goals Outlined in Governor’s Open Space Conservation Plan

Albany, NY —January 23, 2015—The Open Space Institute today praised Governor Andrew Cuomo for continuing his unparalleled commitment to the revitalization of New York’s magnificent state parks. This year’s proposed $110 million parks capital budget builds on $270 million allocated over the past three years and reinforces park revitalization.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo for his unwavering commitment to New York’s most spectacular natural treasures. Thanks to him, great things are happening at state parks throughout New York. From long-needed and multi-year commitments to overhaul Niagara Falls and Jones Beach to significant improvements at Thacher and Riverbank, our state parks are undergoing a transformation unlike anything this state has ever seen,” said Erik Kulleseid, Senior Vice President at OSI and Executive Director of its Alliance for New York State Parks program.  

In addition to the parks capital investment, Kulleseid also singled out for praise an expansion of the Environmental Protection Fund and a renewed commitment to farmland protection.  The Governor’s budget proposal increases the EPF by $10 million to a new total of $172 million. The EPF’s open space acquisition category will be raised 20 percent, from $21 million to $25 million.

“A $10 million expansion of the EPF, including $4 million earmarked for open space protection, and a new $50 million farmland protection initiative underscore the value that smart and effective land conservation can and does play a role in building stronger communities, as called for in the state’s Open Space Plan,” said Kulleseid.   

Last fall, the Governor issued an Open Space Conservation Plan emphasizing the multitude of benefits derived by effective land conservation. The Cuomo plan underscored the importance of protecting natural resources and stressed the important role land conservation plays in promoting clean water and air, outdoor recreation, working farms, habitat protection and climate change mitigation.

“We are gratified that after years of stagnation, the governor has turned the corner on open space funding within the EPF,” said Kulleseid. “We are pleased that with this proposal, the state is returning its focus to the economic, environmental and recreational benefits that result from smart land conservation.”



Eileen Larrabee
518.427.1564, ext. 127

Sign up for updates.




All active news articles

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


Subscribe to our newsletter

We get in touch once a month with our most important news, stories, and updates.

Please leave this field empty