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Artpark (Image by K&D Action Photo & Aerial Imaging)
Artpark (Image by K&D Action Photo & Aerial Imaging)

$900,000 in grants awarded to state parks, trails, historic sites & public lands partner organizations


Wed, Jul 28th 2021 03:30 pm

Leverages private & public funding to support 30 projects across New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $900,000 in grants to support 30 not-for-profit organizations involved with stewardship of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands.

"New York's beautiful state parks, trails, public lands and historic sites offer world-class outdoor recreational opportunities that continue to support tourism and grow local economies," Cuomo said. "These partnership organizations provide invaluable support to our park system, and the grants announced today will help bolster efforts for these groups to build a better state parks system for generations to come."

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund. 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.

Grants are administered in partnership with the not-for-profit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York. Recipients must raise outside funding of at least 10% of the grant amount received.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The Park and Trail Partnership Grant program makes it possible for friends groups and other organizations to strengthen and expand their roles as stewards for our parks. We are grateful for all the support by these groups and their continued dedication towards building and enhancing the park experience for all visitors to enjoy."

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "To protect New York's lands for future generations, DEC works hand-in-hand with local partners and volunteers to promote sustainable use and help maintain our trails for the safe and responsible enjoyment of the public. Today's awards will advance efforts to make the outdoors more accessible to all New Yorkers and help visitors better understand their impact on natural resources in order to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards."

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

Grants are aimed at initiatives that enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, maintenance and promotion of New York state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands; increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, volunteerism and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain and support New York state parks, trails and state historic sites and public lands and; promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails and greenways.

Awardees include:

Western New York:

•Artpark & Company Inc. ($50,000) – To create a comprehensive wayfinding system and incorporate public Wi-Fi along Artpark's pathways providing data access to a diverse demographic of Artpark visitors, and to serve as a functional necessity for the proposed interactive signage system and data collection.

•Chautauqua County Equestrian Trail System ($64,805) – To provide environmentally friendly, sustainable rehabilitation of the trail known as The Boulevard, which acts as a critical point of access for trail users and has been closed for the past two years due to logging.

•Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve ($6,510) – To provide permanent, durable trailside interpretive signs along the "History Trail," including new accessibility features and an audio tour.

•Martin House Restoration Corp. ($13,500) – To retain a curatorial intern who will support the second phase of a comprehensive collections cataloging project that will strengthen the stewardship of the collections and make them more accessible.

Introduced in the Governor's 2021 State of the State address, the adopt-a-trailhead program is managed by the DEC and gives the public the opportunity to support state-led efforts to care for state lands and educate fellow visitors on the value of responsible recreation. The AAT program supports DEC's comprehensive and ongoing efforts to sustainably manage increased visitation to public lands and provides important information to guide future land management decisions. For more information on the AAT program, visit DEC's website here.

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.

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