State Parks: Gov. Cuomo announces five percent attendance increase

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that New York state parks, historic sites and campgrounds welcomed 65.3 million estimated visitors in 2015, up three million from the previous year.

This five percent increase continues a trend, with state park attendance being up a nearly 14 percent since Cuomo took office in 2011.

“These…numbers are proof that this administration’s efforts to invest in and promote New York’s natural assets have been a success,” Governor Cuomo said.

Park attendance was boosted by a variety of factors, including favorable weather throughout the summer and late into the fall, according to Cuomo.

Annual park system attendance has climbed steadily from the 57.2 million visits recorded in 2011, reflecting Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improving State Parks, expanding access to outdoor recreation, and promoting the state’s vast tourism and recreational attractions.

“Governor Cuomo continues to lead the transformation of our park system with his NY Parks 2020 plan to invest $900 million in public and private dollars to modernize our state park system,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

She added that citizen volunteers are vital partners in the effort to make our parks and sites the very best they can be.

“I Love My Park Day,” held annually on the first Saturday of each May, has volunteers working to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites.

They 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 Department of Environmental Conservation is very excited to be participating in ‘I Love My Park Day’ with inclusion of the state’s two largest parks, the Adirondacks and Catskills,” DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

“New York’s Forest Preserve lands have exceptional scenic, recreational, and ecological value that will be enhanced with a variety of stewardship, beautification and clean-up projects planned for ‘I Love My Park Day,’” he said.

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