Senate Approves Bills to Aid Hyde Hall, Rogers Environmental Center

ALBANY, 06/14/16 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) today announced senate approval of bills he sponsors to protect long-term stability and local management for a pair of area parks.  Hyde Hall in Otsego County and Rogers Environmental Center in Chenango County would benefit from the bills.

Senate bill 7490 would extend the lease agreement for Hyde Hall between New York State and the Friends of Hyde Hall, which is set to expire on January 1, 2017, for an additional thirty-years to January 1, 2047.

Senate bill 7501 would authorize a formal lease agreement for the Rogers Environmental Education Center between New York State and the Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center which would run for a forty-year term.

“Our region of the state has so much to offer including great parks that attract visitors and provide recreational opportunities for local residents,” said Senator Seward.  “Hyde Hall and Rogers Environmental Education Center offer even more than many parks by adding an element of history and environmental education respectively.  It is critical that we ensure the future viability of these parks, and that’s exactly what the local ‘friends’ groups are striving toward.  The long-term leases will allow both entities fundraise and solicit donors with the promise of a secure and lasting operating future .”

Hyde Hall, built by George Clarke in the early 1800s, is located within Gimmerglass State Park and is listed as a National Historic Landmark and state historic site and is operated by Friends of Hyde Hall through a cooperative lease agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Rogers Environmental Center is owned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  Currently, a limited agreement is in place allowing Friends of Rogers to take over some maintenance and programming duties from the state.

Senate bill 7490 was previously passed by the state assembly and will be sent to the governor for final approval.  Senate bill 7501 has been sent to the assembly where Assemblyman Bill Magee sponsors companion legislation.