More than 140 New York state parks, historic sites and public lands and national parks are set to host volunteer events today as part of the eighth annual “I Love My Park Day.” The popular statewide event improves and enhances New York’s outdoor spaces, while bringing visibility to the entire state park system and its needs.
More than 8,000 volunteers are expected to pitch in on cleanup, improvement and beautification projects.
New York state is a leader in parks and conservation, because of a long history of stewardship and generosity by private citizens who believed in the importance of parks.
A press release stated, “With a surge in visitation to more than 74 million people annually, grassroots friends groups and volunteers are more important than ever to keep parks beautiful, clean, and welcoming for all to visit and enjoy.”
This year, volunteers of all ages are set to work on more than 250 improvement projects, ranging from general park cleanup and invasive species removal to beautification efforts such as flower and tree planting, weed removal, reseeding, painting, installation of benches and picnic tables and trail maintenance.
Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks & Trails New York, said, “New York’s park legacy is a responsibility handed down from one generation to the next. Through ‘I Love My Park Day,’ New Yorkers are able to step up and do their part for their parks. Parks help us all stay healthy and active, and by working together we can make them even better.”
“I Love My Park Day” is coordinated at the statewide level by Parks & Trails New York in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. At the park level, friends groups and park staff oversee cleanup, improvement and beautification projects and work with volunteers.
Other partnerships include the Department of Environmental Conservation, the National Park Service and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service, which volunteers more than 400 AmeriCorps, Student Conservation Association and Excelsior Conservation Corps members.
For more information on “I Love My Park Day” and a complete list of participating locations and event contacts, visit http://www.ptny.org/events/i-love-my-park-day/find-event.