Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will build and renovate playground areas at three state Parks across the North Country. The park improvements are funded with $435,000 from the Governor's New York Works initiative.
"It is important that children have a safe and engaging place to play, and these NY Works projects will give them just that in State Parks across New York," said Governor Cuomo. "The numbers tell the story of more and more people visiting the parks, and I encourage everyone to visit these new and improved areas inside the state parks as well as the beauty that New York has to offer."
Under the initiative, State Parks will build or create new playgrounds at two parks and install new playground equipment at three state parks across the North Country. The playgrounds will be accessible to people with disabilities and have distinct areas for younger and older age groups. Each playground will have its own unique themes reflecting characteristics of the park. Playground improvements will be coupled with site improvements, including shade trees or canopies, seating, water fountains and trail/walkway connections to the rest of the park.
The state parks include:
Whetstone Gulf State Park, Lowville - modernize the playground near the park's swimming area with new equipment, including a multi-platform climbing and sliding structure, swing set, seesaws and rock climbing wall.
Higley Flow State Park, Colton - modernize the playground near the park's swimming area with new equipment, including a multi-platform climbing and sliding structure, swing set, seesaws and rock climbing wall.
Point Au Roche State Park, Clinton County - modernize the playground near the park's swimming area with new equipment, including a multi-platform climbing and sliding structure, swing set, seesaws and rock climbing wall.
"Playgrounds are great places for kids to develop self-confidence as they challenge themselves physically," said Senator Betty Little. "Ensuring they are fun but also safe is obviously very important. I'm certain local families and tourists will appreciate the upgrades at Point Au Roche State Park and I'm pleased to join with Governor Cuomo to announce this award."
Senator Joseph Griffo said, "As a former city Mayor, I know firsthand, that playgrounds are a priority quality-of-life concern," he added. "Playgrounds must be maintained for safety, be secure for families and when possible, be modernized for changing tastes. While the State Parks system brings in revenue through continued patronage, today's announced funds are a reasonable investment that helps sustain a return, not of money, but of something more significant - park visitors."
"I am pleased Pt. Au Roche State Park is among the parks that will receive a new playground. This beautiful park is a great location for families to enjoy Lake Champlain and a day outdoors. Many people rallied a few years ago to keep the Park open, and the addition of a new playground with accessibility for those with disabilities will be another feature to the many benefits already available at Pt. Au Roche," said Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.
"These projects come at a great time when Northern New York families are taking staycations while also encouraging local tourism. The investments will ensure that our children will have continued safe access to our state parks." said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush.
Construction of the playgrounds is expected to take place in the off-season, with playgrounds ready for use by next spring.
State Parks plans to fix, modernize, or create over 50 playgrounds, particularly in those parks with high visitation by families and their children. The New York Works initiative is creating 20 new or improved playgrounds to further connect families to parks in the next year.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.