Improvements to Top Tourism Destination Complement Central NY Rising Economic Development Blueprint
Golf Course, Campground and Entrance Improvements Complete for Summer Season
Next Round of Improvements to Central New York's Most-Visited Park Include Lakefront Environmental Education Center and Ecosystem Improvements
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced major improvements to Green Lakes State Park in time for the summer season, including renovation of the golf course clubhouse, Pine Woods Campground, and park entrance. The Governor also announced a new round of enhancements, including a new environmental education center, as part of the next phase of the $16.9 million transformation of Central New York’s most-visited State Park. The improvements are supported by an investment from the Governor’s NY Parks 2020 initiative and complement “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development.
“Green Lakes State Park is a crown jewel in the parks system and a vital resource for outdoor recreation and tourism in Central New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are making great strides to preserve the unparalleled natural beauty of our state parks to help New York’s tourism economy reach new heights and attract more people to visit and stay longer in Central New York.”
This fall, New York State Parks will begin a $6 million project to convert a deteriorated 1940s boat house on Green Lake into an environmental education center and related improvements. The historic boathouse will be moved back from the water’s edge, where it is exposed to flooding, and renovated. The new center will include new indoor classroom/multipurpose space, kitchenette and restrooms in the building, as well as an outdoor classroom, lakefront boardwalk and canoe/kayak landing, new boat rental booth and storage racks, and a fishing pier. The project is supported by a $500,000 grant from the Central Regional Economic Development Council. A rendering is available here.
In conjunction with the education center, State Parks will undertake work to improve the park ecosystem, including restoring the lake edge, redirecting stormwater to constructed wetlands and bioswales/bioretention basins; upgrade electric systems; and rehabilitating the deteriorated West Beach parking area with green elements.
Several key renovation projects at the park have been completed, including:
- A $4 million renovation of the Golf Course Clubhouse, featuring an improved patio with an outdoor dining area accessible to people of all abilities, new public restrooms, and the complete interior renovation of the clubhouse, including improvement of the kitchen and bar areas. The clubhouse overlooks the fairways of one of the first golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, one of the game's most innovative golf course architects, and the park’s stunning glacier lakes.
- A $6.7 million renovation of the Pine Woods Campground, which includes the addition of full service campsites with electric, water and sewer connections, two new restroom and shower buildings, improved roads, and infrastructure improvements to help protect the park’s ecologically significant lakes, the project includes site work to divert sewage treatment areas away from the lake and to correct drainage problems and reduce runoff and erosion. This work included to modernizing the main park entrance, reduce traffic back-ups and upgrade park utilities.
- A $200,000 investment in rehabilitation, reconstruction, and maintenance of park trails, including erosion control, drainage, surface, directional and interpretive signage improvements on both lake trails, Brookside Trail, and grassland trails and connectors.
The Green Lakes State Park improvements are part of the Governor's NY Parks 2020 Plan, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The Governor's FY 2018 Executive Budget allocates $120 million toward this initiative.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “I’m grateful for Governor Cuomo’s investment and commitment to Green Lakes State Park and our entire state park system. The work here will help expand and enhance opportunities for both children and adults to connect with nature and the outdoors, build mind and muscle and simply have fun with friends and family – while taking crucial steps to preserve the park’s ecosystem for future generations.”
Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s continued investment into Green Lakes State Park, the park will continue to provide access to some of the area’s best recreational opportunities and help strengthen the local economy. The renovations that have been completed and future enhancement projects will serve the parks growing popularity as a tourist destination.”
Senator David J. Valesky said, “Green Lakes State Park attracts thousands of golfers, campers, hikers, and bikers each year, and investment in the park ensures that it remains a popular tourist destination for years to come. I applaud Gov. Cuomo for directing funds to this important Central New York economic development project.”
Assemblyman Bill Magee said, “Green Lakes State Park is the site of two rare meromictic lakes, Green Lake and Round Lake, and old growth forest that is right in our own backyard. Green Lakes is a much loved, appreciated and very popular year-round recreational retreat, and I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Harvey to renovate, improve, and preserve this beautiful, historic park.”
Assemblyman Al Stirpe said, “Green Lakes State Park showcases Central New York’s natural beauty and has been drawing in visitors since it opened, I often hike around the lakes with my wife and take in the awesome scenery of the lakes and the surrounding hills. That’s why I’m thrilled that the state has made a significant investment in Green Lakes State Park, including improvements to the golf course club house and the campground. And with more projects in the works, such as a brand new environmental education center, future generations will be able to enjoy all the park has to offer.”
Accelerating Central NY Rising
Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.