Grants for parks, trails, historic sites slated

ALBANY — Parks and Trails New York and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, with support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature, are pleased to announce the third round of $500,000 in competitive grants through the NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program.

According to a news release, the grant is funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The grants are available to organizations that support parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, and are administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP.

The program is designed to:

∫ Enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, environmental education, maintenance and promotion of New York State parks, trails, historic sites, and public lands;

∫ Increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, volunteerism and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain and support NYS parks, trails, historic sites and public lands; and

∫ Promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails, greenways, and public lands.

This year, for the first time, grants will also be available to organizations that support public lands managed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Applications are due Dec. 8. Grant awards are expected to be announced in March 2018. The Park and Trail Partnership Program is open to organizations whose primary mission is the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, environmental education, maintenance and promotion of a specific New York state park, trail, historic site or public land under the jurisdiction of OPRHP or DEC. More information is at ptny.org/our-work/support/park-trail-partnership-program.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in the release, “Through Governor Cuomo’s leadership and historic investments in the Environmental Protection Fund, New York is making great strides to improve and expand access for outdoor recreation in the state. As DEC manages the most public recreation land in the state, we are proud to be a part of this year’s state Park and Trail Partnership Program. These grants will help our partner organizations improve stewardship of trails and parks across the state while advancing conservation activities and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities.”

The Park and Trail Partnership Program, in addition to other grassroots efforts, complements Governor Cuomo’s commitment to revitalizing and transforming the State park system through his NY Parks 2020 plan, and connecting New York families and visitors to nature and outdoor recreation through his Adventure NY program.

In May 2017, Governor Cuomo announced the second round of Park and Trail Partnership Program awardees which disbursed $450,000 in grant funds among 20 organizations. The grants were matched by more than $200,000 in private and local funding.

By Patricia Older

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