August 21, 2015 — If you’re like
me, you stayed indoors a lot this week because of the sweltering temperatures.
But this weekend one of the best ways to beat the heat is to get outdoors.
Today I call your attention to a beautiful Hudson Valley recreation mecca:
Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park in Putnam County.
As the 270,000
hikers, swimmers, campers, birders and anglers who visit annually already know,
Fahnestock is a wonderful park that offers plenty of options for outdoors
enthusiasts. Located less than an hour’s drive from New York City, Fahnestock’s
Canopus Lake is a particularly well-loved place to relax and cool off, whether
under beach umbrellas or in the cool lake waters.
Fahnestock and it’s obvious how much this park is loved. Now, a new study by
the Open Space Institute reveals the full extent of the park’s role as a
tourism and economic driver in the Hudson River Valley. The visitor study,
funded by the Waletzsky State Parks Fund and the Dyson Foundation, reveals that
nearly half of Fahnestock’s visitors originate from the New York City
metropolitan area, with 30 percent from the five boroughs or Long Island alone.
study also captured the park’s role as an economic catalyst, with an estimated
$14.5 million impact on the local and state economy. While the park’s numbers
swell during the weekend, local visitors keep Fahnestock abuzz throughout the
week, contributing to its popularity and economic impact.
finding was the positive role of diversity at the park. People from all walks
of life enjoy Fahnestock, while Spanish-speaking visitors in particular keep
Fahnestock humming on weekends. When
asked why they liked
the park so much, many of those surveyed mentioned that there was “so much to
do” at Fahnestock. Visitors can find a “one-stop shop” of outdoors adventures,
from a stroll in the Butterfly Garden at Hubbard Lodge, a hike along the
Appalachian Trail, or a swim and picnic at Canopus Lake.
For us at the
Open Space Institute, it is gratifying to hear how appreciated the park has
become. Through the
years, thanks to our efforts in the area, the park has doubled in size since
the early 1990s. Most recently, OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks program
has raised $1.2 million in private funds and grants towards revitalizing
Fahnestock’s Canopus Lake visitor complex.
investments like these being made in Fahnestock, by OSI, State Parks and our
partners, are paying dividends as more and more people grow to love this
beautiful place and develop a stake in its future.
Stream and listen to Erik.