###Contacts: Robin Dropkin, (518) 434-1583 / firstname.lastname@example.org, Jackie Mirandola Mullen, (518) 434-1583 / email@example.com,
Albany, N.Y. - Governor Cuomo's budget proposal for State FY 2014-2015 includes important investments in state parks infrastructure and environmental programs that will help grow the economy, promote tourism, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. New York State Parks and Historic Sites The Governor's proposed budget includes a $90 million investment to address the backlog of infrastructure needs at New York State Parks and Historic Sites. The budget proposal also maintains the operations budget of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). "Parks & Trails New York is pleased that the Governor continues to recognize the importance of healthy state parks and historic sites," said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York Executive Director. "This substantial capital funding will help to continue the revitalization of our state park system and secure our parks and conservation legacy for future generations." Governor Cuomo has shown strong support for New York's state parks and historic sites during his administration. Yearly capital infusions have allowed OPRHP to begin to address the more than $1 billion in infrastructure needs and critical safety repairs at state parks and historic sites, such as replacing aging water and sewer systems, rehabilitating restrooms, and repairing bridges, dams, roads, leaky roofs and swimming pools. This investment in our state park system, leveraged with additional private and federal investment, creates local jobs, boosts tourism in communities across the state, and helps to grow the state's economy sustainably. "Governor Cuomo's budget proposal reflects his recognition of the important role state parks play in local economic growth, protection of important natural areas for enhanced sustainability and quality of life, and providing affordable, close-to-home recreational opportunities to New Yorkers," said Dropkin. Parks & Trails New York looks forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to keep the momentum going for parks, including partnering with the Governor and OPRHP for the third annual I Love My Park Day in May to celebrate and enhance New York's state parks and historic sites. Environmental Protection Fund Parks & Trails New York also commends the Governor for increasing funding for the state's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to 157 million. Given that the EPF protects clean water, creates jobs, and supports parks and farms, we are hopeful that additional funds can be found for this critical source of funding for New York's communities.