ALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Today, NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $90 million in NY Works funding will advance nearly 90 construction projects to upgrade and repair more than 50 state parks and historic sites across New York.
“Through the NY Works program, the state is investing in much needed projects to repair our parks and historic sites while creating jobs and generating local economic activity,” Governor Cuomo said. “These projects to rehabilitate park infrastructure and address health and safety issues will improve the experience for park visitors, create jobs and support New York’s tourism industry.”
“A first-class parks system encourages healthy recreation, protects the state’s natural resources, and attracts residents, tourists, and private investment to communities around our state,” Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Governor Cuomo’s investment in parks and historic sites across the state will improve New York’s quality of life, while strengthening important economic assets.”
This year’s State Budget provides $90 million for state parks to begin construction on the next round of the New York Works capital program to address the backlog of environmental capital needs and spur job creation and economic development. Additionally, State Parks will undertake 60 architectural and engineering designs to advance shovel-ready capital improvement projects in nearly 50 parks in future years. The State Budget capital plan calls for investing $90 million annually in state park improvements over the next five years.
“Following decades of deferred maintenance and under-investment, New York’s state parks are on an exciting upswing, thanks to the leadership and commitment of Governor Cuomo and members of the legislature. The second installment of NY Works funding is a critical acknowledgement that New York’s state parks are important recreational, cultural and economic destinations. On behalf of the more than 60 million people who visit state parks each year, we express our appreciation for this ongoing commitment to upgrade parks and enhance the visitor experience throughout the system,” said Erik Kulleseid, director of the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks program.
“This infusion of capital funding is breathing new life into a park system that has suffered from decades of underfunding. Thanks to the strong commitment of Governor Cuomo and the Legislature the revitalization of our state park system can continue, boosting tourism, creating jobs, and securing New York’s parks and conservation legacy for future generations,” said Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks and Trails New York.
Last year, Governor Cuomo committed $89 million through the New York Works initiative to rehabilitate dozens of state parks and historic sites, enabling State Parks to move forward with more than 100 overdue projects to improve 55 parks and historic sites. Construction is underway at parks and historic sites across the state on health and safety-related improvements and critical infrastructure rehabilitation, including modernizing bathhouses, repairing deteriorated restrooms, improving trails and replacing dilapidated playgrounds.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by commissioned by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.