Governor Cuomo Invests $90 Million in
State Park Revitalization

The State Legislature approved Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's budget plan to invest $90 million to help revitalize the New York state park system. Details on how the 2013-14 state budget will affect capital rehabilitation and improvement needs in statewide parks and historic sites can be found in this recent press release
 from the Governor's office. This is the second round of New York Works funding that Governor Cuomo has directed to repair and rehabilitate aging park system infrastructure - bringing the total commitment to $179 million, the largest infusion of capital funding in the park system's history.


I Love My Park Day: May 4th 2013
Saturday, May 4th

ilmpd trans 

Online Registration
is Now Open!  

Join Parks & Trails New York, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, local Friends groups and Governor Cuomo in celebrating
New York's magnificent state parks and historic sites by volunteering at your favorite park on Saturday, May 4.  More than 70 state parks and historic sites are participating. 

Register online by April 22 and you are automatically entered to win a $100 Camping gift card to NY State Parks (OPRHP).  To find an event, register and for more details, visit Parks & Trails NY  



  Sandy Repairs: Setting the Stage for Summer!   

Repairs to the oceanfront state parks damaged by Hurricane Sandy are on target and moving ahead steadily. With our partners in state and federal government, State Parks is working on dozens of projects to clean up debris, repair boardwalks, reverse beach erosion, rebuild dunes, repair boardwalks, reopen roads and more.  We look forward to welcoming throngs of beachgoers to parks like Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Orient Beach for Memorial Day weekend.

For updated information on Sandy recovery efforts across the state, visit Governor Cuomo's website. 

Volunteer Spotlight

Carol Rathbun
Volunteers as: President of Friends of Letchworth State Park

Favorite Park Spot:
Inspiration Point

Growing up in the area, Letchworth State Park was always a special place for Carol and her "love and appreciation of the park has done nothing but grow over the years." Carol attended her first Friends meeting in 2011, after retiring from teaching. Soon after, the group needed a new leader. "If no one stepped up, the group would have to be dissolved," Carol said, "I didn't want that to happen, and a friend of mine encouraged me to take on the presidency.  Everyone at the meeting promised to help and support me, so I agreed to try it."  Members of the group kept their word, and Carol said her volunteerism gives her a "wonderful feeling of being able to give back to such an awesome place."

The Friends of Letchworth are off to a great 2013. The group partnered with the park to sponsor a successful "First Day Hike" on January 1st.  Carol led the Friends' efforts to obtain funding for signs along the Clan Trail which help explain the role of the Seneca Indian Nation in Western New York and the Friends recently received a capacity building grant from Parks & Trails New York to help promote the group, attract more volunteers, and support park projects. 


"Everyone has unique talents and contributions they can make and share. Many, like myself, seem to think that it is something to do when you retire. But, there is always something you can do.  Attend a meeting or talk with a member to find out how you can help. A good place to start is volunteering on "I Love My Park Day" May 4th at your favorite park!"

    Treat your mom on Mother's Day!


If you're looking for ideas to celebrate Mom, why not plan to spend time with us that weekend? Sonnenberg Gardens State Historic Park and Clermont State Historic Site are hosting Mother's teas, and special brunches will be held at the Bear Mountain Inn, Gideon Putnam Resort and the Glen Iris Inn.  Or, get outside and try the Mother's Day 5K race and 2-mile walk at FDR State Park, or a family foursome at Green Lakes Golf Course.  Nature loving moms will enjoy a spring beach hike or wildflower walk. From fitness to finger sandwiches, we've got plenty of ways to show you care. Check out these events.

Geyser Creek Fish Stocking at Saratoga Spa State Park
Go Fish at State Parks This Spring

Many lakes, ponds, streams and creeks in New York's state parks and historic sites are stocked and ready to provide families all over the state with hours of great fishing. To encourage New York families to try fishing, many state parks are hosting special angling events and suspending the requirement for fishing licenses and permits  on certain days, check our events calendar for details

To see how much fun you could be having, watch the enthusiastic visitors who flocked to stock Geyser Creek at Saratoga Spa State Park for trout season. 

Brendan Walsh 

Behind the Scenery


With Brendan Walsh, Cave of the Winds Chief Deck Builder, Niagara Falls State Park


How long have you been with State Parks?  I started at the Cave of the Winds in 1992.


What is your job? I supervise the crew that builds, maintains and removes the decks and walkways of the Cave of the Winds.  Ice and snow buildup requires us to remove the decks and walkways and replace and re-stain wood every year during the off-season. During the peak season, I supervise the guides and elevator operators. 


What's the best thing about your job?  Being able to get so close to the falls and watching so many people enjoy what we worked so hard to build.


What's the coolest thing you've ever seen at the park?  Watching the ice in the Niagara River.  As the ice flows down river, rocks the size of trucks are lifted and moved like pebbles.


What's the coolest thing you've ever done at the park?  I've been in movies, magazines, on the front page of local papers and in a TV commercial all because of my job.


If someone were to visit, is there a hidden destination or activity that you'd recommend? Take a hike to the bottom of Whirlpool State Park.  Walk down the stairs in the fall when the leaves are changing and the salmon are running.


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Visit our
web calendar for 
hikes, programs,
festivals & more!


life guard


Got what it takes? Prove it!  
 Check out the
lifeguard exam scheduale
for locations near you!

Meet the Locals
male Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird

This lovely songbird is one of our springtime faves AND also happens to be the NY state bird. Eastern Bluebird males are vivid deep blue on top and rusty color on the throat and breast. The blue color in birds always depends on the light, and males often look plain gray-brown from a distance until the light hits them just right.  Females are more subdued in color with slate blue wings and orange-brown breast.

Eastern Bluebirds are a common sight in meadows, field edges and golf courses. They nest in tree cavities such as old woodpecker holes but also take readily to nest boxes where they typically have more than one brood per season. They dine on insects, fruits and wild berries.


Empire pass
Get Your 2013
Empire Passport! 

Your pass for all season enjoyment --unlimited vehicle entry to NY's State parks for
just $65. Bring as many
friends as your car holds!

Visit our website 

 for info & to purchase online.

Sounds of Spring

Just about 1 inch in length,
Spring Peepers are well
camouflaged nocturnal frogs that
are rarely seen but are synonymous
with spring sounds. As their name
implies Spring Peepers emit a short
high pitched 'peep.' In the spring
they congregate at vernal pools
where the males will belt out a
continuous song heard from afar.
A Peeper's diet consists of ants,
flies, spiders, and beetles. While
they are excellent climbers with
large toe pads for the job, they
typically spend most of their
time on the forest floor.



Listen to this sound clip! 

 from the Cornell Lab of 
Ornithology-Macaulay Library


National Safe Boating 
Week: May 18-24.


Start the summer boating season off safely by taking a New York Safe Boating Course. Check our website for
course availability.

NYS Parks always reminds you
to wear your life jacket.


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Donate directly to your  

camping guide cover 2013   

 If you haven't planned
your summer escape
, book now!