Albany, NY (May 5, 2012)
Governor Cuomo today joined hundreds of New Yorkers to volunteer at the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Westchester County, and the Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx, as part of the state's first "I Love My Park Day." Across New York State, thousands of volunteers participated in clean-up, beautification and stewardship events at more than 35 state parks and historic sites.
"New York State's parks system is one of the most elaborate, developed in the nation and a treasured asset for our state. I am thrilled that hundreds of New Yorkers have taken advantage of 'I Love My Parks Day,' with families and individuals across the state coming out to help get our parks ready for summer," Governor Cuomo said. "With today's launch, 'I Love My Parks Day' will hopefully become a New York State tradition for New Yorkers to build community, have some fun, get to know their neighbors a little bit better, all while helping clean up our parks."
Governor Cuomo launched "I Love My Park Day" to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs. Organized by the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York, the volunteer initiative gives New Yorkers a chance to celebrate the state's park system by cleaning up park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects.
"I Love My Park Day" comes on the heels of the enactment of the Governor’s New York Works Fund, which will provide $89 million, leveraging $143 million in total funding, to rehabilitate state parks, representing the single largest infusion in history of capital dollars for New York's parks. Currently, 83% of state parks are deteriorating. Projects will be funded in every region of the state and will enhance the visitor experience and enable state parks to reemerge after years of decline.
NY Works will fund a $4,500,000 investment in Roberto Clemente State Park to install a new playground, create a picnic area, make improvements to the baseball field, and repair the park's infrastructure. NY Works will fund a $1,150,000 investment in the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park to begin to repair deteriorated bathhouse facilities and repair the swimming pool's aging filtration system. The swimming pool, one of the largest pools in the country, is located 35 miles from New York City and is heavily used by underserved communities.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, "Governor Cuomo has made it a priority to ensure that all of our parks and historic sites are open for New Yorkers to enjoy. The major investments in the infrastructure of parks and sites throughout the state through the NY Works program will help improvement projects move forward and enhance the experience for all of our visitors. Our state parks continue to need the support of the public and dedicated partners and 'I Love My Park Day' is a great way for New Yorkers to show their support for New York’s wonderful park system. I’m grateful to Parks & Trails New York for helping organizing this inspiring initiative, and I thank all the New Yorkers who came out and rolled up their sleeves for making this day such a success."
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, "Thanks to Governor Cuomo and legislators, the NY Works program is giving a much-needed infusion of capital funding to our state parks and historic sites so we can address aging infrastructure needs. But government funding alone cannot do the job. 'I Love My Park Day' is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers who use and love their parks to pitch in to help clean up and beautify these treasures."