While a governor’s budget under dire fiscal constraints is typically not a time to celebrate, those who administer, work under and/or enjoy the great outdoors and New York State public park system certainly have something to be thankful for. New York State governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget has earmarked approximately $33 million toward repairs, upgrades and restorations to Hudson Valley’s aging and deteriorating State Park system. Among those parks to receive funds are Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Fahnestock State Park, the Mills Mansion State Park and the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park.
For Minnewaska, the governor has proposed $1 million to help restore carriage trails and hiking/biking/running/cross-country ski trails, several of which were heavily impacted by Tropical Storm Irene this past September. Prior to Irene, the Park had suffered from a 300-acre forest fire from which it was still recovering. The plan calls for the “next phase of rebuilding the Park’s popular trails used for hiking, bicycling and cross-country skiing.”
Added to this list is Mills-Norrie State Park in Staatsburgh, a historic site that is earmarked to reserve $4,200,000 to restore the East Portico of Mills Mansion and repair the Mansion’s leaking roof.
The Alliance for New York State Parks, a program of the Open Space Institute (OSI) that is committed to the restoration, maintenance and support of New York’s state parks and historic sites, said that this state funding will help it build stronger public/private partnerships, specifically “a number of capital campaigns” at Minnewaska State Park and Fahnestock State Park. The Alliance claimed that Governor Cuomo’s budget “will reverse decades of decline at state parks and historic sites,” and gave praise to Governor Cuomo’s proposed increase for parks, which includes an $89 million increase for repairs, upgrades and restorations at 48 state parks, with 12 of those being in the lower and middle Hudson Valley.
For more information on the proposed increase for parks and historic sites in Governor Cuomo’s budget, go to www.governor.ny.gov.