On May 24, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $1.8 million in grants to support 28 not-for-profit organizations involved with stewardship of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, the highest amount awarded in the Park and Trail Partnership Grants program history. The grants support partner group efforts to raise private funds for capital projects, engage in maintenance and beautification projects, provide educational programming, and host special events that promote public use of the parks.
“We are proud to support the work of the incredible grassroots partner organizations that elevates the stewardship and programming of our state parks, historic sites, trails and public lands,” Governor Hochul said. “With the largest investment in the Park and Trail Partnership Grants program history, New York State is sending a message that we are deeply committed to protecting and funding our public lands as we continue to embark on nation-leading climate resiliency initiatives.”
The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund. Grants are administered in partnership with the not-for-profit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York. This eighth round of awards will be matched by over $625,000 in private funds. Recipients must raise outside funding of at least 10 percent of the grant amount received.
Adirondack-area 2023 awardees include:
- Lake George Battlefield Park (Fort George) Alliance ($50,000) for the hiring of a Member Services Manager to promote awareness of the park through marketing, fundraising, and operation of the new visitor center.
- Friends of Higley Flow State Park ($45,966) to purchase an ADA accessible kayak launch and gangway approach to be installed in collaboration by volunteers and park staff.
- John Brown Lives! ($150,000) for its first Executive Director position that will help professionalize and stabilize the organization and its continuing impact on behalf of John Brown Farm State Historic Site.
The Fiscal Year 2024 Budget provides $2 million for the next round of Park and Trail Partnership grant funds, as part of a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, improve agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. In addition, the budget included $200 million for State Parks for capital improvement projects. This substantial level of funding will aid the ongoing transformation of New York’s flagship parks and support critical infrastructure projects throughout the park system.
Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for New York’s parks and trails, working with grassroots groups for 35 years to strengthen public-private partnerships and improve New Yorker’s health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. For more information, visit www.ptny.org.
Photo at top courtesy of the NYS Governor’s press office.