WE WON THE BATTLE
Together, we made sure that the Governor and the powers that be in Albany know how important parks and historic sites are to the people of New York and to the economy of the state. As a result, the Governor as part of his budget release pledged no park closings this coming year. Unfortunately, several parks and historic sites, including Woodlawn Beach and Knox Farm State Parks and Herkimer Home State Historic Site closed this year due to budget constraints.
BUT WE HAVE TO WIN THE WAR
State parks and historic sites have been chronically underfunded for decades. This year is no different. The Executive Budget reduces funding for New York’s 178 state parks and 35 historic sites by more than $17 million. This is on top of a cut over the last few years of nearly 20 percent and a staff reduction of 1400. The additional cuts will have to be absorbed somehow. We may not see closings, but we will certainly see myriad service, hour and program reductions
TELL ALBANY TO REINVEST IN OUR PARKS
The parks agency is struggling, with diminished operating funds and a $1 billion infrastructure backlog.. The death by 1,000 cuts to the legacy of our magnificent state park system is a huge price for the people of New York to pay for a miniscule savings to the state budget. We must explore new ways to revitalize our park system, such as fostering a more robust park friends and volunteer program and a new dedicated funding stream for parks.
Read our testimony at the Legislative Budget Hearing on February 8.
Speak out for parks – join us for Park Advocacy Day in Albany March 22.