Governor Cuomo announced the state has committed $2.5 million to build or improve 13 playgrounds at eight State Parks across New York. The park improvements are part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 state park revitalization plan, which includes a commitment to add or improve 100 playgrounds by 2020.
“New York's state parks are second to none and these playground improvements are yet one more reason for families to pay them a visit,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this funding, we are building on our success in improving state parks and are encouraging a new generation of New Yorkers to appreciate the great outdoors.”
Under the initiative, State Parks will replace outdated playgrounds at the parks with modern, code- compliant equipment and distinct areas for young and older age groups. 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.
“Playgrounds offer much more than a place to have fun; they help children build physical strength, coordination and balance – while developing social skills,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for providing the safe, modern recreational facilities New York’s children build mind and muscle.”
The State Parks include:
- Captree State Park (Suffolk County) – install a new playground with equipment designed specifically for 5-12 year-olds and 2-5 year-olds as well as a water mister and shade structure.
- Delta Lake State Park (Oneida County) – install a new playground that will use existing terrain to incorporate new play features and provide accessible play for all age groups.
- Green Lakes State Park (Onondaga County) – replace outdated equipment with modern play features to provide accessible play for all ages as part of the complete renovation of the Pine Woods campground.
- Hempstead Lake State Park (Nassau County) – expand the existing playground designed for 5-12 year-olds and install a new play area for 2-5 year-olds.
- Jones Beach State Park (Nassau County) – Expand the existing playground and add shade structures in Zach’s Bay and replace the outdated playground in the West Games Area.
- Letchworth State Park (Livingston/Wyoming Counties) – replace and expand three playgrounds in the Highbanks Recreation Area, Cabin Area C and Highbanks Campground.
- Saratoga Spa State Park (Saratoga County) – expand the existing Peerless and Geyser area playgrounds with new play features and natural elements which will integrate play with the park’s environmental education programming. The Geyser playground will focus on the aquatic habitat of the adjacent Geyser Creek, and the Peerless playground will feature naturalized fields to support the habitat of pollinators.
- Westcott Beach State Park (Jefferson County) – Enlarge two existing playgrounds and replace outdated equipment.
Construction will take place following the peak summer season. The playgrounds are expected to be ready for use next year.
Since 2011, State Parks has built or improved 47 playgrounds as part of the Governor’s historic commitment to improving parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation. The Governor's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2015-16 State Budget allocates $110 million toward this initiative.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.
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