Historic Budget Proposal for Parks

New Grants Program for Friends Groups Proposed

Governor Cuomo’s 2015-2016 Executive Budget proposal includes great news for state parks and historic sites—and for Friends groups, including $500,000 for a new capacity-building grants program for state park and historic site Friends groups. We need your help to secure this critical funding for parks and Friends groups.

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Flagship parks like Niagara Falls are being revitalized thanks to the Governor’s NY Parks 2020 commitment to restoring state parks and historic sites.

$110 Million in Capital Funding Proposed

This year, the Governor continues his commitment to state parks and historic sites by announcing NY Parks 2020—a multi-year commitment of $900 million for state parks infrastructure from 2011-2020. For this year’s budget, the Governor has proposed $110 million—an increase of $20 million over last year that brings his total commitment to a truly astounding $380 million since taking office. The Governor has also proposed to maintain operations funding essentially flat. Read more in the Governor’s briefing book on the environment.

New Grants Program for Friends Groups Proposed

The Governor has also proposed increasing the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $172 million, an increase of $10 million over the current fiscal year. The EPF is a critical source of funding for protecting New York’s water and air, providing stewardship for state parks and forests, and delivering essential resources to communities such as the municipal park program that supports local parks and trails.

Included in that EPF increase is $500,000 for a new capacity-building grants program for state park and historic site Friends groups. The program would be administered jointly by Parks & Trails New York and OPRHP. While the details of the program are still in development, this is exciting news and we will be working hard to make sure the final enacted state budget includes this potentially transformative opportunity for Friends groups.

What You Can Do 

There are several ways you can help secure this critical funding for parks and Friends groups:

  • park-advocacy-day-13-of-18

    Participants at Park Advocacy Day

    Join us for Park Advocacy Day. Parks & Trails New York and the Alliance for New York State Parks are hosting the 9th Annual Park Advocacy Day on March 3 in Albany to support the Governor’s budget proposal for state parks and historic sites. Your participation is critical to ensuring legislators see there is strong support for continued investment in revitalizing the state parks system. In addition, legislators need to hear directly from Friends groups on the importance of funding for a capacity-building grants program. Learn more, then register.

  • Thank Governor Cuomo. Write the Governor to thank him for his continued commitment to the revitalization of our parks system and for his proposed capacity-building grants program which will further leverage the state’s historic investment in state parks and historic sites. Send letters via email or to: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12222.
  • Contact your state Senator and Assemblymember. Urge your representatives to support the Governor’s budget proposal for parks, including $110 million for state parks infrastructure, at least $172 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, and $500,000 for a new capacity-building grants program for state park and historic site Friends groups.
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