Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Alliance for New York State Parks:  Cuomo Budget Will Reverse Decades of Decline at State Parks and Historic Sites

Jones Beach 1937 NYS Office Parks and Rec 

Spending plan provides an $89 million increase toward repairs, upgrades and restorations to aging and deteriorating state park system.

Albany, NY — January 17, 2012 — Decades of underinvestment and physical decline at New York’s 213 state parks and historic sites will be reversed under a spending plan presented today by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  

The Alliance for New York State Parks praised the governor and welcomed news that his proposed budget calls for an $89 million increase for repairs, upgrades and restorations at 48 state parks and historic sites.  The amount will be funded through the New York Works Infrastructure Fund.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing that New Yorkers deserve parks they can be proud of, rather than a system defined by failing bathrooms and bridges, crumbling trails and stonework and outdated water and electrical systems,” said Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Alliance for New York State Parks. 

“Parks and historic sites are critically important to protecting New York’s natural resources and providing recreational and cultural experiences to the public.  Often overlooked, however, is the important role they play in attracting regional tourism dollars,” noted Kulleseid.  “This investment will provide long overdue repairs and upgrades to these destinations and in doing so provide a boost to local construction and engineering businesses.”

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has identified a backlog of capital rehabilitation needs across the 213 state parks and historic sites.  The list totals $1.1 billion, of which $461 million is associated with basic health and safety projects and $595 million with deteriorated and worn-out facilities in need of rehabilitation. 

“The Alliance looks forward to working with the administration and OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey to find ways to augment public funding and leverage the state’s commitment though additional private fundraising in order to recover from decades of underinvestment in our state parks and historic sites,” added Kulleseid. 

The Alliance for New York State Parks, a program of the Open Space Institute, is committed to the restoration, maintenance and support of New York’s state parks and historic sites.  A primary goal of the Alliance is building stronger public-private partnerships.  As such, the Alliance is supporting a number capital campaigns at parks and sites throughout the state.


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