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'I Love My Park Day' partners encourage New Yorkers to give back

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Thu, May 3rd 2018 11:25 am
Volunteers sought for more than 135 events across Empire State on May 5
AT&T announces major contribution to annual event
Elected officials joined Parks & Trails New York and representatives from AT&T at the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site earlier this week to encourage all New Yorkers to register to volunteer on Saturday, May 5, for the statewide "I Love My Park Day."
"I Love My Park Day" is a statewide event coordinated jointly by Parks & Trails New York (a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization) and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and in partnership with local Friends groups. It is a day to celebrate and enhance New York's parks, historic sites and public lands, and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs.
More than 135 state parks, historic sites and public lands, and national parks will participate in every region of the state, from Long Island to Buffalo, from the Southern Tier to the Thousand Islands, and from the Hudson Valley to Lake Champlain.
"New York state is a leader in parks and conservation, because of a long history of stewardship and generosity of private citizens," said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin. " 'I Love My Park Day' gives us a great chance to do our part, by helping out at the parks we love."
Since its inaugural year, "I Love My Park Day" has tripled in size and impact. The seventh annual "I Love My Park Day" is expected to draw 8,000 volunteers across the state. Volunteers of every age and walk of life will roll up their sleeves to clean up park lands and beaches, plant trees and gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitat, and remove invasive species. These efforts are designed to bring real, tangible enhancements to New York's treasured outdoor spaces, keeping them beautiful and inviting to the more than 71 million people who visit the state park system each year.
" 'I Love My Park Day' provides an opportunity for volunteers to work together to enhance and give back to the parks we cherish," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in lending a hand as we look to ensure that future visitors can continue to enjoy our state's remarkable parks and historic sites."
"I Love My Park Day" would not be possible without the support of statewide sponsors and partners. AT&T, a top supporter of the event since its inception in 2012, has contributed a total of $90,000 to support "I Love My Park Day," including $15,000 this year to assist with the beautifying of New York state parks and trails.
"New Yorkers love their parks, and it's not a surprise that 'I Love My Park' Day has grown exponentially in size since its inception in 2012," said Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T New York. "AT&T salutes the good work of the thousands of volunteers who will pitch in at more than 130 parks across the state, cleaning beaches and shorelines, improving trails, painting fences, clearing debris and making parks more accessible."
AT&T's continued support for "I Love My Park Day" aligns with the company's legacy of environmental conservancy and ecological corporate citizenship. AT&T has set a long-term goal to enable carbon savings 10-times the footprint of its global operations by 2025. In addition, AT&T is committing significant resources and expertise in the "Internet of Things" (IoT) to help make cities cleaner, safer and stronger through smart cities. The company has a respected reputation for its external support of environmental issues and for its numerous internal programs, including the reuse or recycling of more than 7 million cell phones each year, building a fleet of more than 11,200 alternative-fuel vehicles and has encouraged more than 21.2 million customers to sign up for paperless billing.
"The investment in 'I Love My Park Day' by our sponsors and partners is inspiring. We are especially grateful for the steadfast support of AT&T in the success of 'I Love My Park Day,' " Dropkin said.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Park Service have volunteer events planned at 26 locations, including the Adirondack and Catskill regions of the state, and at five national parks in New York state. Also contributing this year are members of the New York State Excelsior Conservation Corps, a New York State AmeriCorps program initiated by Cuomo and run by the Student Conservation Association.
At the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, volunteers will take part in beautification of the grounds, including a cleanup of the gardens, container planting and raking.
For the sixth annual event last spring, 8,000 volunteers took part in more than 250 cleanup, improvement and beautification projects at 120 state parks and historic sites, contributing 20,000 hours of volunteer service.
To register to volunteer for the seventh annual "I Love My Park Day," visit http://ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day.
Parks & Trails New York is the state's leading advocate for parks and trails, working since 1985 to expand, protect and promote a network of parks, trails and open spaces throughout the state for use and enjoyment by all. Learn more at www.ptny.org.

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