A new economic impact study found that the New York State Park System and its visitors generated spending of about $5 billion, which supported nearly 54,000 jobs within the state of New York and over $2.8 billion in state GDP.
The study, by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, was commissioned by the park advocacy group Parks & Trails New York.
The study, Economic Benefits of the New York State Park System, found that from April 2015 to March 2016, the 67 million visits to the New York State park system resulted in about $4 billion in spending by local and non-local visitors. This includes day trips and overnight trips, with visitors spending money on park entrance and use fees, sporting equipment, food and drink, transportation, lodging, and other expenses. Visitor spending has a multiplier effect, as jobs and revenues are created in supporting industries throughout the local economy. The total economic significance of the $4 billion in visitor spending is about 45,000 jobs and $2.4 billion additional state GDP according to the authors of the study. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), have announced the third round of $500,000 in competitive grants through the NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.
The grants are available to organizations that support parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, and are administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP. This year, for the first time, grants will also be available to organizations that support public lands managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the Canalway Trails Association New York (CTANY) have released their sixth annual report – Closing the Gaps: A Progress Report on the Erie Canalway Trail 2015 – detailing progress made in completing the statewide Erie Canalway Trail as a continuous, off-road route. With 288 of 360 miles open to the public, the Canalway Trail is 80% complete and well on its way to becoming the longest trail of its kind in the United States, and a significant tourist destination for Upstate New York.
The fourth annual I Love My Park Day will be on May 2nd. I Love My Park Day is a statewide event that seeks to improve and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites. Volunteers clean up winter damage and other debris on park lands and beaches, plant trees and gardens, restore trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and work on various site improvement projects.
Nearly 90 parks and historic sites are expected to participate this year, from Montauk Point to Niagara Falls. The annual event is sponsored jointly by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the Canalway Trails Association New York (CTANY) have released their fifth annual report, Closing the Gaps: A Progress Report on the Erie Canalway Trail 2014.
The report is intended to update canal corridor communities and national, state, and local decision makers on recent progress and current trail status as well as underscore the need for the resources and political support to ensure the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail is finished. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York, a statewide parks and trails advocacy organization, is seeking nominations for its 2015 Park & Trail Hero Awards.
The awards recognize the leadership, creativity, and donation of time, talent, and materials behind many of New York’s parks and trails. Continue reading
Should the New York State history community lobby in Albany and if so, for what? These questions occurred to me as I recently participated in two days of lobbying. The events were arranged by Parks & Trails New York and the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York Parks on Park Advocacy Day, and by the Tourism Industry Coalition for Tourism Action Day. The former is works essentially on behalf of NYS Office Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) while the latter consists of 23 organizations including 9 counties, 2 cities, New York and Syracuse, one region, the Finger Lakes, and hospitality organizations. Continue reading
The one-house budget resolution passed by the Republican controlled NYS Senate last week denies $92.5 million in funding for state park and historic site repairs and upgrades included in the Executive and Assembly budgets.
Advocates say the funding, which builds on the $200 million provided over the past two years, is critical to revitalize New York’s beleaguered system of state parks and historic sites, which saw a record 60 million visitors last year. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York’s (PTNY) interactive map of the Erie Canalway Trail — the cross-state route between Buffalo and Albany along the Erie Canal — has been updated and optimized for mobile devices.
With GPS-enabled capability, users can find exactly where they are relative to the Trail and easily locate nearby attractions and services, including museums, historic sites, parks, lodging, bike shops, restaurants, convenience stores, ATMs, pharmacies, and hardware stores. Parking areas and handicapped accessible trailheads are also included. Continue reading
Parks & Trails New York, the New York State Trails Council, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation have announced the results of a New York State Trail User Count. The study focused on 14 of the state’s greenway or multi-use trails where volunteers conducted user counts this past August. Based on the results of these counts it is estimated that over 2.2 million cyclists and pedestrians are using these trails each year.
The greatest estimate was over 650,000 annual users at the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Ulster County. Other popular trails include the Jones Beach Bikeway, the Bethpage Bikeway, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, and the Robert Moses Trail near Niagara Falls. Continue reading