Statewide Friends Conference

The You Gotta Have Friends Statewide Friends Conference 2017 was a great success! The event was a joint partnership between PTNY and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), with 150 representatives from Friends groups and OPRHP in attendance.

The Statewide Friends Conference was held on Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Spa State Park. We kicked off the conference with a terrific historical tour of the springs by Allie Schweizer, an environmental educator with OPRHP, as well as a reception and dinner with an inspiring speech from OPRHP Commissioner Rose Harvey. The reception and dinner were sponsored by Barton & Loguidice.

Saturday was packed full of presentations about fundraising, non-profit organization, panels on event planning and volunteer management, a chance for Friends groups and their park or site managers to discuss challenges and opportunities, and a lunch presentation about social media.

After lunch on Saturday, Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky, the Chair of the State Council of Parks, addressed the group, informing everyone about the regional commissioners and encouraging Friends groups to reach out to their own regional office.

We wrapped up the conference on Saturday afternoon with peer-facilitated roundtables on several different topics, and the raffle of a fabulous gift box that had goodies from the Saratoga area, as well as a one-night stay for two at the Gideon Putnam.

Many attendees reported that one of the best things was that the Friends groups and OPRHP had the chance to network with other Friends and park and site managers from across the state.

Check out the PTNY website for handouts and presentations from the conference.