Featured Friend: Jane Daniels

Located in Yorktown, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) State Park is about 40 miles from New York City. FDR state park offers many activities including fishing, boating, a swimming pool, picnic areas, playing fields, and hiking trails.

It was the hiking trails that got the attention of Jane Daniels, the President of the Friends of FDR State Park. She had always been heavily involved in Yorktown hiking trails, and connecting hiking trails. When she was younger, Jane spent a lot of time walking at FDR state park, and later spent a lot of time there by the water with her children.

Since the 1970’s, Jane’s commitment to joining trails inspired her goal of connecting the town’s 25-mile trail system around Taconic and FDR State Park. Through connections, she was able to combine volunteers from many different skill areas to make their most recent project possible. This project was a 32-foot bridge that connected the Crom Pond trail in FDR State Park to the Mohansic Trailway on Baldwin Road.

This multiphase project couldn’t have been completed without a little help from the dedicated 90 plus Friends. These “Friend Groups” included the Friends of FDR State Park, the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, FDR Park staff, the New York State Office of Parks Recreation, and Historic Preservation’s Taconic regional office, the Westchester Mountain Biking Association; Eric Fitzgerald and Scout Troop 165, and Pleasantville Mountain Bike Trails.

Her favorite part about getting involved is the people she has gotten to know and having successful projects completed. “All the wonderful help from the park and volunteers was critical in completing the project. It was absolutely amazing. It was really Friends of Friends that made a difference.”

Some challenges the Friends of FDR State Park face include raising money, building up a financial base of loyal donors, and only having eight active members.

The Friends of FDR State Park have almost completed five interpretations signs, as well as an informational video on FDR by a student intern. For future projects, they are planning meetings to set goals to move forward for next year.

The Friends of the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park met to form the group in 2011 and formally became a 501 (c)(3) in 2012 to support the maintenance, operations, enhancement, and improvement of the parks, promote educational programs that encourage the protection and conservation of natural resources, and provide recreational activities for park visitors. They meet the second Wednesday of the month in the FDR Park Office from 7:30-9:00 pm.

Category: YGHF