Leverages private and public funding to support 27 projects across New York
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday 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," 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% 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 Gov. 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."
Western New York awardees include:
√ 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) toward the renovation of the historic theater's ceiling.
√ Old Fort Niagara Association ($75,000) to preserve two iconic, historic 18th century redoubt structures.
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 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 those areas. This 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 recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.