Grants Deadline Approaching

The deadline for Park and Trail Partnership Program grant applications is less than one month away. Over the past two years the grants have funded $900,000 in projects and leveraged $480,000 in matching funds across the state from Knox Farm State Park to Connetquot River State Park Preserve.

The grants are funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, a capital fund that supports projects ranging from open space conservation to municipal recycling, and climate change programs to stewardship of our shared greenspaces.

More than 40 grants have been awarded through the Park and Trail Partnership Program. The Friends of Schodack Island State Park were awarded $3,400 to install two kiosks, and produce promotional materials to provide information to campers about the Friends group, the park, and the surrounding community. (Picture)

Park staff and the Friends group collaborated to install the educational kiosks, which provide information to campers about the park and Friends group, as well as local attractions and businesses. So far, the kiosks have resulted in the Friends group welcoming a few new members, and has decreased the amount of time park staff use answering questions for campers about local businesses and attractions. It also increased camper participation in park activities.

The kiosks include a map of the park and surrounding area, information about local businesses and attractions, a description of Schodack Island history, a map of the Hudson River and destinations for boat travel, a description of the Friends group and how to join, and an enclosed bulletin board and white board to keep updated information for park activities, as well as plastic holders for brochures.

The Friends of Schodack Island came together in 2010 to support their park, which faced closure because of budget cuts. Friends of Schodack Island State Park, Inc. was organized under the New York State Not-for-profit Corporation Law in 2010. Their mission is to support the park by working with park staff to provide volunteers, develop programs and events, and to provide funds for park needs. The Friends organize volunteers for activities including park clean ups, trail maintenance, ice skate rental, and flower planting.

The Park and Trail Partnership Program compliments the Governor’s Parks 2020 program, which is renewing stewardship of our state park system by infusing $900 million into health and safety improvements at state parks and historic sites after years of neglect.