June 25, 2015

Governor Cuomo Announces Revitalization of Verona Beach and Green Lakes State Parks With $13 Million NY Parks 2020 Investment

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Revitalization of...

New Beach Bathhouse at Verona Beach Celebrates Grand Opening and Start of 2015 Swim Season

Green Lakes Improving Visitor Experience With Renovations to Central Areas of Flagship Park


Governor Cuomo announced major progress in signature revitalization projects at Verona Beach State Park and Green Lakes State Park. Made possible by a $13 million investment from the NY Parks 2020 initiative, the improvements include the completion of a new bathhouse and pavilions in time for the summer swim season at Verona Beach and ongoing campground upgrades and a renovation of the golf clubhouse at Green Lakes.

“New York has some of the nation’s best locations for outdoor recreation, and through the NY Parks 2020 program we are transforming them to be better than ever,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to see the progress at Verona Beach and Green Lakes moving forward, and I encourage New Yorkers to check out a state park near them this summer.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said: “It’s exciting to watch our state park system progress to what we know it can be, and we have the opportunity to see that happening at Green Lakes and Verona Beach State Parks where projects are transforming the visitor experience for the better while protecting the parks’ natural resources. We’re continuously grateful for Governor Cuomo’s investment and commitment to our state park system.”

The work, which ranges from the construction of new facilities to much-needed upgrades to park infrastructure, underscores Governor Cuomo's commitment to improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation. NY Parks 2020 is a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2015-16 State Budget includes $110 million toward this initiative.

Oneida County Executive, Anthony J Picente, Jr., said, “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his investment in the NY Parks 2020 Initiative and today’s announcement. From Utica’s Harbor Point project to Rome’s Bellamy Harbor Park and Verona Beach State Park Oneida County’s waterfronts are being revitalized so everyone can enjoy all this county has to offer. Improvements here at the park were much needed and long overdue. A new bathhouse, pavilions and a new beachfront and provided flood protection and much more. Today is a signature milestone in this $4.2 million investment.”

"Green Lakes State Park is a great asset to Central New York and one of the nicest parks in the New York State Park System", said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. "Governor Cuomo's commitment to Green Lakes is appreciated and the improvements mean the nearly one million visitors a year will continue to enjoy great golfing, camping, swimming and much more."

Current improvements and recent project completions include:

Verona Beach State Park, Verona Beach, Oneida County
(Parks 2020 Investment: $4.2 million)

Located on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake, Verona Beach today celebrated the grand opening of its complete beach facility makeover. A new bathhouse with a full concession stand, universally accessible public restrooms, and a first aid station with lifeguard office and locker rooms is open in time for the 2015 swim season. The project also expanded the beach area and provided flood protection by locating the building further from the beach and at a higher elevation. A new enclosed pavilion and community room and three small picnic shelters were also recently completed near the park’s beach and popular campground.

Additionally, State Parks upgraded the parking lots and drainage areas to steer stormwater run-off into landscaped bioswales that filter silt and pollutants rather than running directly into the lake, improving water quality.

Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville, Onondaga County
(Parks 2020 Investment: $8.95 million)

At Green Lakes, which hosts more than one million visitors annually, three major improvement projects are currently underway. The golf clubhouse is undergoing $3.1 million in work to replace the multi-tiered patio with an outdoor dining area accessible to people of all abilities. An addition to the pro shop will house new public restrooms, which were not previously available in close proximity to the shop. Structural issues will also be addressed, with the improvement of drainage, surface water collection and utility connections. Phase two, which begins this fall, calls for the design and construction of a complete interior renovation of the clubhouse, including the relocation and enhancement of the kitchen and bar areas with increased seating. 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.

Green Lakes’ Pine Woods Campground is currently undergoing $2.95 million phase of construction with the installation of improved campsites, including the addition of full service sites with electric, water and sewer connections for the first time in the Central New York region. The project will also include a new restroom and shower building, improved road, and will replace and relocate the trailer dumping station to better suit the heavy traffic at check-out times. New trees and vegetation will be planted to better define and add privacy to individual campsites. To protect the water quality of 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. The second phase, which begins this fall, will involve construction of a second restroom building to serve campsites and the park’s newly renovated cabins, and will install electricity for the remaining sites. The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed $1.1 million in funds toward the campground project.

Concurrently, the first, $2.9 million phase of an overarching project to upgrade utilities and park entry is underway. The upgraded utilities – water, sewer, electric, communications and roadways – will serve the northern area of the park, where the park office is located, and Pine Woods Campground area. Traffic issues at the park entrance and parking area will be addressed with an added automated entry lane providing visitors with more convenient payment options, and the ticket booth will be replaced with a modern workspace for the attendant and security.

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, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

New York Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418