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Recreational upgrades coming to local state parks

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Tue, Apr 18th 2017 02:00 pm

Whirlpool, DeVeaux Woods and Reservoir parks to be enhanced

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation on Monday work to replace deteriorated playgrounds at Whirlpool and DeVeaux State parks is currently underway, and Reservoir State Park will be the new home to an outdoor gym and fitness trail.

The new playground at Whirlpool State Park will feature play equipment with a woodland theme that includes a variety of elements, including swinging, rocking, climbing and sliding. State-of-the-art safety surfacing will be used to prevent injuries.

At DeVeaux Woods State Park, new equipment will be integrated into the current playground set. This play area will also be themed to blend with the feel of the park and will be surrounded by safety surfacing, as well. Sensory equipment will be included at this playground, and signage will be placed to educate visitors about the flora and fauna of the park and Niagara Gorge.

Both the Whirlpool and DeVeaux Woods playgrounds are designed for children age 2-12 and are fully inclusive.

Reservoir State Park in Lewiston, which is already a popular location for outdoor recreation, will incorporate an outdoor gym featuring easy-to-use equipment near the sports courts. The existing 1.2-mile walking trail will be retrofitted to have fitness stations every 1/10 of a mile, which will allow users to do activities such as pull-ups, leg lifts and balance steps.

All three facilities are expected to be open by early July.

"Increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation at these community parks is consistent with State Parks Commissioner (Rose) Harvey's mission to get more kids outdoors. We are confident that these new playground faculties will become well used and popular gathering areas for families from all over Western New York and beyond," said State Parks Western Regional Director Mark Thomas.

Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's leadership, New York is making a historic commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multiyear commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011-20. The fiscal year 2018 executive budget includes $120 million toward this initiative. In addition, the governor proposed completing the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails by 2020 to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multiuse trail in the nation. The state will develop 350 miles of new trail in three phases to create a 750-mile pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through historic communities.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.

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