Serrano Bills to Protect Parks Pass New York State Senate

José M. Serrano

February 26, 2019

(New York, NY)- Legislation sponsored by Senator José M. Serrano to protect State and municipal parkland passed the New York State Senate today. The Senate voted to pass bills to regulate the alienation of municipal parkland (S.180) and to prohibit littering in State Parks and Historic Sites (S.2494).

Parkland alienation refers to the taking of parkland for non-park use. Today’s legislation (S.180) helps protect parkland by requiring that municipalities report their progress and compliance in regards to the replacement of lost parkland or the investment of equal value into new park infrastructure.  

“Our city parks enhance the health, vitality, and overall quality of life of our communities, said Senator Serrano. “Once parkland is lost, it is nearly impossible to recover. Today’s actions ensure that municipal parkland is alienated only in cases of great public need, and that affected communities are provided with replacement green spaces.”

Legislation S.2494 codifies Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation rules by prohibiting littering on State park lands and Historic Sites. Penalties include fines and/or community service at a State Park.

“New York’s State Parks system is among the best and most diverse in the nation. As we grapple with the consequences of human impact on our environment, we must take a proactive approach to protecting our greatest treasures. Enacting robust policies to protect our parks will educate the public and discourage littering, while ensuring that dedicated park staff spends less time picking up trash and more time beautifying and caring for our incredible parks.”  

Both bills passed the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Chaired by Senator Serrano, on February 5th, 2019.

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Senator José M. Serrano is the Chair of the Senate Democratic Conference and Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks & Recreation. He represents the 29th Senate District, which covers neighborhoods in the South & West Bronx, East Harlem, Upper Yorkville, Roosevelt Island, Central Park and the Upper West Side.