Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) provides a voice for park and trail users and supporters, both in Albany and in communities around the state. The policies and programs supported by PTNY reflect the essential role of parks, trails and greenways in New York’s economic growth, the health of its residents, and the long-term resiliency and sustainability of its communities.
The pandemic made it exceedingly clear that parks, trails and public green space are more important than ever. Skyrocketing visitation to our outdoor spaces is a constant reminder of their value to our physical and mental health.
Public green spaces are also economic drivers and important contributors to the fight against the impacts of climate change. Outdoor recreation in New York generates over $40 billion annually in consumer spending, 313,000 direct jobs, and $14.0 billion in wages and salaries, and $3.6 billion in state and local tax revenue. In the wake of more frequent and severe weather events, parks, trails and greenways also make our state more resilient, providing natural protective systems while keeping the lands they occupy in productive, attractive use.
In 2020, we saw the first-hand the value of New York’s green spaces during the current crisis, and the attendant importance of equitable access to these green spaces. Parks and trails cannot be considered nice amenities to take or leave when budgets allow; they are essential resources.
In 2021, we are more committed than ever to protecting and enhancing these critical resources and making them available, safe and welcoming for all New Yorkers.