Parks and Environment Win Big in State Budget

Parks & Trails New York applauds the Governor, the State Senate, led by Majority Leader John Flanagan and Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Thomas O'Mara, and the State Assembly, led by Speaker Carl Heastie and Environmental Conservation Committee Chairman Steven Englebright, for crafting a state budget that will help grow the economy, promote tourism, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

State Parks Infrastructure

The enacted budget keeps up the momentum in restoring New York's iconic state park system with a $90 million capital investment, continuing the Governor’s multi-year commitment of $900 million for parks through 2020. The funds will be used to address the backlog of infrastructure and critical health and safety needs at New York State Parks and Historic Sites across the state, from repairing bridges, roads and dams to rehabilitating restrooms and swimming pools.

Environmental Protection Fund

The historic $300 million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), an increase of $123 million over last year, secures New York’s parks and conservation legacy for future generations. The unprecedented investment positions New York as a national leader. From restored funding for open space conservation and municipal parks to continued funding for state land stewardship and the Park and Trail Partnership Program, this investment will benefit New Yorkers in communities in every corner of the state.

Park and Trail Partnership Program

The $500,000 EPF appropriation for the Park and Trail Partnership Program, which PTNY administers in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, will fund a second year of capacity-building grants for organizations that promote and support the State Parks system. The Program unlocks the potential of these organizations by increasing their effectiveness, productivity, and volunteer and fundraising capabilities. This will enhance park, trail and historic site stewardship, leading to even greater economic benefits from outdoor recreation and healthier, more sustainable and resilient communities

Bicycling and Walking

PTNY and its coalition partners at New Yorkers for Active Transportation came closer than ever to securing new state funding for bike lanes, sidewalks and multi-use trails. Since passage of the Complete Streets law in 2011, securing state funding for bike/ped infrastructure has been a priority for us. This year, we were successful in getting $20 million for dedicated bike/ped funding included in the Assembly budget —a giant leap forward. A huge thank you to our legislative champions on this issue, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and Senator Rich Funke. With this added momentum, we are energized to fight for more and safer biking and walking infrastructure in the next budget.

Thank you!

We are grateful to all of you who called, wrote, and came to Albany to urge lawmakers to support these critical investments in parks and the environment. None of it would have happened without you!