In a recent announcement, Gov. Kathy Hochul shared that $1.8 million in grants have been awarded to support 28 not-for-profit organizations involved with the stewardship of state parks, trails, historic sites, and public lands, according to a report by the Niagara Frontier Publications.
This marks the highest amount awarded in the Park and Trail Partnership Grants program history. The grants will aid partner group efforts to raise private funds for capital projects, engage in maintenance and beautification projects, provide educational programming, and host special events that promote public use of the parks.
We are proud to support the work of the incredible grassroots partner organizations that elevate the stewardship and programming of our state parks, historic sites, trails, and public lands,” Hochul said.
“With the largest investment in the Park and Trail Partnership Grants program history, New York state is sending a message that we are deeply committed to protecting and funding our public lands as we continue to embark on nation-leading climate resiliency initiatives.
The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund and is administered in partnership with the not-for-profit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York.
This eighth round of awards will be matched by over $625,000 in private funds, with recipients required to raise outside funding equal to at least 10% of the grant amount received.
“State Parks is so fortunate to have incredible partners in Gov. Hochul, Parks & Trails New York, and the countless friends groups and volunteers who help ensure the success of our offerings to the public. I look forward to seeing how this historic investment of $1.8 million will help more New Yorkers access and connect with our phenomenal natural and historic resources,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid, expressing his gratitude for the support.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos commented on the significance of the grant funding: “The natural beauty and character of New York’s lands draw millions of visitors each year, and the support of our stewardship partners is critical to the ongoing needs to maintain and preserve these areas – as well as facilities like environmental education centers.
“Today’s significant grant funding acknowledges the critical roles these partners play at DEC and other public resources, and we are grateful for Gov. Hochul’s continued investments to help provide essential services to make the outdoors accessible for visitors to enjoy now and into the future.”
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Paul Steely White offered insights into the impact of the grants.
“These grants are like rich organic fertilizer for growing the grassroots movement to improve New York’s parks, trails, historic sites, and public lands. Accessible kayak launches, bridge repairs, strategic planning, and youth education are just a few examples of the newly funded projects that will bring more nature and more joy to more New Yorkers,” he said.
The outdoor recreation industry in New York contributes significantly to the state’s economy, generating billions in annual consumer spending and supporting thousands of jobs. This investment in state parks, trails, and historic sites will provide New Yorkers with more opportunities to engage in outdoor recreation, improving their overall well-being.
Participation in outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking, has been proven to enhance physical and mental health. This investment in state parks, trails, and historic sites will provide New Yorkers with more opportunities to engage in outdoor recreation, improving their overall well-being.