Gus the Polar Bear Breaths Sigh of Relief, Senate Democrats Keeps Parks & Zoos Open

For Immediate Release | May 28, 2010

Katie Kincaid | | 646-784-0485

(New York, NY) Much to the relief of Gus the Polar Bear and Zoe the Snow Leopard, our Zoos and State Parks, will be open Memorial Day weekend and through into next year. After taking a stand to protect parks earlier this year when the Governor proposed dramatic cuts, Senate Democrats were able to negotiate an agreement to restore full funding for all parks, fulfilling their promise to keep parks, campgrounds, historic sites and botanical gardens open for New York’s families

“Central Park Zoo brings so much joy to both local residents and tourists from around the world, it’s one of the amazingly unique attractions that make Central Park so magical,” said Senator Krueger. “Where else can you find a Two-Toed Sloth named Matilda in Manhattan?”

Beyond providing recreational access to natural habitats, New York State Parks are also a major economic engine for communities across the state; a recent study indicates that the return on investment for parks operations is five-fold, $1.9 billion in total revenue.

The agreement also maintains funding for the very popular Department of Environmental Conservation campgrounds, which become the summer home for thousands of students who learn the importance of environmental protection and wilderness skills.

“No one should ever be denied the ability to experience the different aspects of nature and our environment, especially those provided through our State parks” said Senator Krueger. “In voting to restore funding to our parks today, I was happy to stand up for the Guses and Matildas of this world.”