Celebrate Earth Day By Making a Commitment to Volunteer at New York’s Public Lands
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today invited New Yorkers to sign up to volunteer at their favorite state park or historic site as part of the fifth annual “I Love My Park Day” to be held on May 7, 2016 at 110 parks and historic sites across the state.
“Earth Day is a great time to make a commitment to our parks and historic sites across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “I Love My Park Day is an opportunity to give back and ensure that others can continue to enjoy some of our state’s greatest open spaces. I encourage all New Yorkers to sign up now and volunteer at a park or public land in their area.”
Sponsored jointly by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York, I Love My Park Day is a statewide event to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs. This year, 110 parks and historic sites will participate, from Jones Beach State Park to Niagara Falls State Park.
This year’s event includes new partnerships with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Park Service, with volunteer events planned at four locations in the Adirondack and Catskill regions of the state and at five national parks in New York State.
“Volunteers are crucial to keeping state parks inviting and enjoyable to 65 million people who visit our park system each year – and I Love My Park Day is a great time to volunteer at a favorite place,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “We look forward to again welcoming thousands of volunteers on the first Saturday in May, all working together to enhance the parks we cherish.”
“New York State is a leader in parks and conservation because of a long history of stewardship and generosity of private citizens,” said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin. “We can’t think of a better way to keep the celebration of Earth Day going and do our part by helping out at the parks we love on I Love My Park Day.”
Volunteers will celebrate New York’s public lands by cleaning up debris, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects. The New York State Commission on Volunteer and Community Service is joining the effort again this year to help recruit volunteers, promote the initiative and provide support to projects across the state. Also contributing this year are members of the New York State Excelsior Conservation Corps (ECC). The New York State ECC is a New York State AmeriCorps program run by the Student Conservation Association, created under the vision of Governor Cuomo to address the environmental and stewardship needs of New York State while inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders through environmental education programing. ECC members will help State parks organize and implement I Love My Park Day projects.
To register for I Love My Park Day, please click here.