Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today invited New Yorkers to volunteer at their favorite state park or historic site as part of the second annual “I Love My Park Day” on May 4, 2013. Online registration is now open for volunteers who want to support clean-up and beautification efforts at sites across the state, including areas that sustained much damage from Superstorm Sandy. To register, go to http://www.ptny.org/ilovemypark/.
“Last year, thousands of New Yorkers turned out to show their support for New York’s state parks and historic sites by volunteering at the first-ever I Love My Park Day,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am pleased to again invite New Yorkers to participate in this annual volunteer initiative to help clean and spruce up these great state assets which play a significant role in our tourism industry and economy. This year, there are especially worthwhile projects at facilities that experienced devastating damage from Superstorm Sandy last fall and can benefit greatly from the efforts of New Yorkers.”
Sponsored jointly by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York, ‘I Love My Park Day’ is a statewide event to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites as well as bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs. More than 70 parks and historic sites will participate – nearly double the number from last year. Volunteers will celebrate New York’s park system by cleaning up storm damage and other debris on park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects. The New York State Commission on National and Community Service is joining the effort this year to help recruit volunteers, promote the initiative and engage AmeriCorps members to support projects across the state.
“Governor Cuomo continues his remarkable commitment to keeping all of our parks and sites open for the public to enjoy, making historic investments to improve the infrastructure of parks, and exercising great leadership in making sure the parks damaged in Superstorm Sandy will be open this summer,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Yet we continue to need the support of the public and dedicated partners to make our parks and sites the very best they can be. ‘I Love My Park Day' is a great way for citizens to make a strong show of support for New York’s wonderful park system. I’m grateful to Parks & Trails New York for organizing this inspiring initiative, and I am thrilled to welcome the many New Yorkers who love their parks to join us again on I Love My Park Day.”
“New Yorkers have already seen the benefits of Governor Cuomo’s investment in state parks, either directly as visitors or through a boost in tourism. But our parks and historic sites continue to need the support of friends, volunteers and partners, and government funding alone cannot do the job. New Yorkers who use and love their parks have another opportunity to do their part by pitching in at this year’s 'I Love My Park Day.' Plus, it’s fun,” said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin.
Last year, Governor Cuomo committed $89 million in total funding through the New York Works initiative to rehabilitate dozens of state parks and historic sites, representing the single largest infusion in history of capital dollars for New York’s park system. This year, through the next round of New York Works capital program, the Executive Budget provides $90 million for state parks to address the backlog of environmental capital needs and spur job creation and economic development.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.