State Park Friends - People with Passion for Parks


Friends organizations are essential to the stewardship and promotion of our state park system. These nonprofit organizations—oftentimes made up entirely of volunteers—clear trails, paint buildings, build kiosks, leading interpretive programs, and raise significant money for capital projects.

By building the community of park supporters, we can ensure that New York's parks and conservation legacy remains intact. If you are involved with a Friends group that supports one of New York's 215 state parks and historic sites, read below for resources to help build and strengthen your organization.

State Park Friends Groups

Allegany State Park Historical Society
Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc.
Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance (Hoyt House)
The Caumsett Foundation
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum
Friends of Allegany State Park
Friends of Brookhaven State Park Alliance
Friends of Caleb Smith Preserve
Friends of Chenango Valley State Park
Friends of Clark Reservation State Park
Friends of Connetquot River State Park Preserve
Friends of East River State Park
Friends of Evangola State Park
Friends of Fahnestock and Hudson Highlands State Parks
Friends of Fillmore Glen State Park
Friends of Gantry Neighborhood Parks at Hunters Point
Friends of Glimmerglass State Park
Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park
Friends of Greater Two Rivers State Park
Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park
Friends of Higley Flow State Park
Friends of the Ithaca Dog Park at Allan H. Treman Marine State Park (TCDOG)
Friends of Knox Farm State Park, Inc.
Friends of Letchworth State Park
Friends of Long Point State Park
Friends of Midway State Park
Friends of Minna Anthony Common Nature Center
Friends of Moreau Lake State Park
Friends of Peebles Island State Park
Friends of Point Au Roche State Park
Friends of Robert Moses State Park Nature Center, Inc.
Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park
Friends of Robert V. Riddell State Park
Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain
Friends of Sampson State Park
Friends of Sampson Marina
Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park
Friends of Schodack Island State Park
Friends of Sterling Forest State Park
Friends of Taconic State Park
Friends of Thacher and Thompson's Lake State Parks
Friends of the Catharine Valley Trail
Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct
Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Inc.
Friends of Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse
Nissequogue River State Park Foundation
The Palisades Parks Conservancy
Riverbank Partnership
Walkway Over the Hudson

State Historic Sites Friends Groups

Darwin Martin House Restoration Corporation
Friends of Clermont State Historic Site
Friends of Fort Ontario
Friends of Ganondagan
Friends of Herkimer Home State Historic Site
Friends of John Jay Homestead
Friends of Johnson Hall
Friends of Lorenzo
Friends of Mills Mansion
Friends of Philipse Manor Hall
Friends of Schoharie Crossing
Friends of Schuyler Mansion
Friends of the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage
Hyde Hall, Inc.
John Brown Lives!
Old Fort Niagara
Planting Fields Foundation
Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park
The Olana Partnership
Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center

Ways in which we support Friends Groups

Showing Parks Love

PTNY organizes the annual I Love My Park Day, in partnership with State Parks, when friends and neighbors of New York’s state parks and historic sites participate in cleanup, beautification, and stewardship events and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs.

Speaking out for Parks

PTNY encourages Park Friends groups and members to educate legislators and decision-makers about the importance of state parks and historic sites to our state’s economy, health and quality of life through sign-on letters, action alerts, and Park Advocacy Day in Albany, which we organize in partnership with the Alliance for New York State Parks.

Spreading the word about parks and the contribution of Friends groups

PTNY publishes the quarterly You Gotta Have Friends e-newsletter, which provides tips and timely information for state park Friends and supporters. We also post news about parks and Friends groups through Facebook, Twitter and our blog. Subscribe.

Supporting Friends groups with grants, one-on-one assistance, information sharing & fiscal admin

PTNY also provides direct support to Friends groups:

  • Through a competitive application process, PTNY awards Park and Trail Partnership Program capacity-building grants to Friends groups for help with outreach, membership development, communications and other organization-building projects.
  • Through PTNY’s Fiscal Agent Program we assist fledgling Friends groups by providing a means for them to do fundraising and collect grant monies without going through the arduous process of gaining tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.
  • .Our online Friends Resource Kit includes links to resources and tips to help build your organization.
  • Use the Discussion Forum to communicate and network with other NYS park and historic site Friends groups

The Value of Friends Groups

fort-niagara-friends.jpgWhat New York State historic site benefited from the very first friends group? What state park has the newest friends group? The value of volunteer groups to our state parks and historic sites is immense. This blog post from New York State Parks & Historic Sites reveals the answers while spotlighting the remarkable work these organizations perform throughout the Empire State.

2018 Friends Survey Results

2018 Friends Survey ResultsIn 2018 Parks and Trails New York conducted a survey of all state park Friends groups and analyzed and compared the collected data with results gathered from a 2015 survey. Periodic surveys are crucial to understanding the challenges that Friends groups face. It allows PTNY to gauge where resources need to be expanded or developed in an effort to bolster Friends groups to enhance and promote their state lands. The 2018 survey also served to highlight the many successes and achievements of Friends groups including funds raised and programs hosted. Comparing the 2018 data to that of 2015 gives allowed PTNY to see how groups have evolved and showed just how great of an impact the Friends groups have on New York’s state park system.