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Gov Hochul: Lots Of Grants For State Parks

May 19, 2022

GOV HOCHUL ANNOUNCES $900,000 IN GRANTS AWARDED TO STATE PARKS, TRAILS, HISTORIC SITES, PUBLIC LANDS PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS

Leverages Private and Public Funding to Support 27 Projects Across New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $900,000 in grants to support 27 not-for-profit organizations involved with stewardship of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands. The grants support partner group efforts to raise private funds for capital projects, perform maintenance and beautification undertakings, provide educational programming, and promote public use of the parks through hosting of special events.

“These grassroots organizations add tremendous value to the stewardship and programming of our state parks, historic sites, trails and public lands, and we are proud to support their efforts,” Governor Hochul said. “Like these dedicated park partner organizations, New York State is making a strong commitment to public lands, with record funding for parks and environmental protection. I look forward to the many exciting new opportunities in the great outdoors this funding will bring as we head into the summer season.”

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded through the state

Environmental Protection Fund. Grants are administered in partnership with the not-for-profit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York. This seventh round of awards will be matched by over $250,000 in private funds. Recipients must raise outside funding of at least 10 percent of the grant amount received.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “State Park Friends Groups and volunteers are a huge force behind our park system’s success. These grants will help leverage the energy and talents of our partners to do even more to improve parks, historic sites and trails across New York.”

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The work of partners like friends groups and not-for-profit organizations is critical to enhance DEC’s environmental education and programming and advance conservation and access projects to State lands. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the $900,000 in grants announced today, this important work can go even farther to improve State lands, waters, and facilities.”

Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, “With more and more people discovering the outdoors, and visitation to our parks, trails, and public lands soaring, the need for strong public/private partnerships has never been greater. The Park and Trail Partnership Grants help bolster the role of Friends groups in these vital partnerships.”

State Senator Jose M. Serrano said, “Stewardship, conservation and connecting more people to nature are at the heart of our State Park System, and our Friends Groups are essential to promoting these practices. I congratulate the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks and Trails NY on today’s funding announcement to expand participation and access to our State Parks.”

Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell said, “These exciting investments in our Parks reflects the vital role these spaces play in the lives of New Yorkers, and will ensure they remain exciting and engaging for visitors for years to come. I am proud of our State’s commitment to the outdoors, and thank all the local leaders who help maintain, improve, and celebrate our public spaces.”

Awardees include:
Western New York

Friends of Allegany State Park ($23,400) to renovate the historic Red House Sawmill.
IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails ($10,000) to produce a consultant-facilitated three- to five-year road map plan on how to grow and sustain the organization.
Niagara Post Theater ($30,379) towards the renovation of the historic theater’s ceiling.
Old Fort Niagara Association ($75,000) to preserve two iconic historic 18th century redoubt structures.
Capital Region

Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail ($8,600) for the installation of eight park benches along the Columbia County portion of the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail.
Friends of Moreau Lake State Park ($48,928) to install an accessible trail with a new trailhead that will include a kiosk and interpretive signs.
Upper Hudson Northern Catskill Natural Resource Trust dba Greene Land Trust ($8,800) to develop engineering plans and specifications to replace an undersized culvert for a tributary that enters the Hudson River.

Central New York

Friends of Mexico Point Park ($30,592) to create a fully accessible trail from the parking lot to the pavilion, restrooms, and lakeshore, including a kiosk and educational signage along the path.

Finger Lakes

Rochester Inclusive Community Rowing ($11,592) to install a fully accessible pathway with environmentally friendly materials that will allow access from the boathouse and DEC lands to the rowing dock.
Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park ($12,568) to digitize its archives and collection.
Friends of Letchworth State Park ($10,750) to restore and preserve the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps stone tables in the Upper Falls area.
Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway ($60,000) to provide professional, community-level coordination and technical assistance support to the Genesee Valley Trail Town Initiative focused on consistent trail-wide marketing, business attraction and growth, and advocacy and fundraising to complete critical trail-to-town connectivity.

Hudson Valley

Bannerman Castle Trust ($100,000) to hire a Development Officer to evaluate, refine, and implement the organization’s development activities and to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward major gift donors and prospects.
Friends of Mills Mansion ($32,000) for the purchase of historically accurate materials to create reproduction draperies for the library at Staatsburgh State Historic Site.
Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct ($26,427) to improve the exterior of the Keeper’s House Visitor Center and the usability and attractiveness of the building’s ADA compliant entrance as well as to install an arch and mechanical device from the Croton Dam to help visitors better understand the functioning of the Aqueduct.
Little Stony Point Citizens Association ($16,200) to hire a Community Outreach Coordinator to reach out to the community, members, donors, and volunteers and to create deeper engagement via events, newsletters, and appeals.
Stony Kill Foundation ($76,104) to hire a Volunteer and Outreach Manager who will improve the capacity to conduct community outreach and engage volunteers in stewardship of Stony Kill Farm and its associated trails.
Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain ($68,000) to create a pilot mentor program for high school students and to fund an effort to bring additional 4th grade students to the parks for hands-on science and history learning, as well as to conduct a longitudinal study of past program participants to assess longer-term impact.

Long Island

Friends of Connetquot ($41,000) to design and install an interpretive exhibit in the observation deck of the hatchery building to view trout propagation, care and feeding, and learn about the work involved in stream restoration.
Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference ($25,670) to increase the capacity of the organization by updating their administrative and technology infrastructure.

New York City

Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park ($15,500) for the remediation of several landscape issues in Gantry Plaza State Park caused by high park usage.

North Country

Adirondack Mountain Club ($14,750) for sustainable trail rehabilitation on the Phelps Trail, one of the eastern approaches for Mt. Marcy, New York’s tallest mountain.
Azure Mountain Friends ($3,600) for repairs on the fire tower landing and for outreach to local public schools.
John Brown Lives! ($26,500) to build capacity through an innovative strategic planning process that will ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the friends group of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site.

Southern Tier

Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park ($36,140) to replace the roof on the historic Old Mill.
Friends of Rogers ($80,000) to create an environmental educator position who will develop, lead, and organize educational programming for students, youth, families, and special interest groups with an emphasis on adults and senior

The enacted Fiscal Year 2023 Budget provides a $2 million for the next round of Park and Trail Partnership grant funds, as part of a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, improve agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. In addition, the budget increased funding for the State Parks by $140 million, for a total of $250 million. This increase will be invested into enhancing and improving New York’s State parks. This substantial level of funding will aid the ongoing transformation of New York’s flagship parks and support critical infrastructure projects throughout the park system.

Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for New York’s parks and trails, working with grassroots groups for 35 years to strengthen public-private partnerships and improve New Yorker’s health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. For more information, visit www.ptny.org.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which are visited by 78 million people annually. For more information on State Park recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.