Jones Beach State Park- rendering
Revitalizing one of New York's  
Most Celebrated State Parks


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has put forward a five-year plan to restore and transform one of New York's most beloved state parks. The Jones Beach revitalization plan aims to bolster the region's tourism industry and enhance the quality of life vital to attracting and retaining businesses on Long Island. In commemoration of Jones Beach's 85th anniversary, the revitalization plan will restore the park's historic and aesthetic grandeur, strengthen storm resiliency, expand recreational opportunities, and streamline park entry, all of which will improve economic development and increase visitation to the park.   

Details of the plan are available on the Governor's website. 
State Parks will hold a public information meeting on the plan Thursday, May 8th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the Nassau County Legislative Building located at 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501. All members of the public are invited and encouraged to attend to review and discuss the plan.    


I Love My Park Day!

Saturday, May 3

More than 80 state parks and historic sites are participating in the third annual Parks & Trails NY and New York State Parks I Love My Park Day on Saturday, May 3rd. Join your friends, family and neighbors and sign up today to volunteer at your favorite state park or site. From beach clean -ups to trail restoration and tree and flower plantings, hundreds of events are planned to spruce up our parks and get them ready for the summer season.

Make a difference at the parks you love, and register today to volunteer on May 3rd! 



Thanks for Visiting!    

The visitation numbers are in for 2013, and for the second year in a row, State Park attendance topped 60 million visitors. State Parks and Historic Sites are seeing some of the best attendance in more than a decade. And State Park campsites were booked for the most nights on record.  

Visitors make State Parks fun and vibrant. It's wonderful to know that so many people are taking advantage of this scenic, historic and beautiful system. We hope you'll keep visiting more and different State Parks in 2014. 
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Behind the Scenery: 
Marvin Mattingly, Park Manager  

How long have you been with the agency? 20 years this June; I started as a Park and Rec Aide 1 at Kring Point State Park.  
What does someone in your position do? My business is logistics. My goal is to make sure that employees have the tools and training to safely succeed at their jobs while juggling the budget, inspections, and scheduling. You also have to keep an eye to the patron experience and the natural resources we protect. 

What's the coolest thing you've ever seen? I've seen a lot of "cool" things in parks over the years. One that stands out is watching a mature bald eagle swoop down out of the sky to snatch a duck out of the water in Keewaydin State Park. 

What's the coolest thing you've ever done? As a child in the early 1980's, I ran in the 5k race (known as the Minnathon) at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center in Wellesley Island with my father. Over the years, the race ceased to exist. Last May, we reinstituted the race and my father volunteered to help me run the finish line, while my wife and 9 year old daughter raced. 
Is there a destination you'd recommend? The Thousand Islands Region is so diverse that the recommendation depends on the activity. If someone wanted to camp, Higley Flow State Park is the epitome of what campsites should look like. If you are into the history, check out Rock Island Lighthouse. If you want to experience the heart of the 1000 Islands, stay at Wellesley Island, rent a boat and buy a river chart.  

What inspired you to work in parks? 
My first supervisor, Joe Snyder. Joe had a way of inspiring his employees to not only take ownership of the park, but also to build a relationship with the patrons and have some fun.
Take Me to the River

The warm weather has boaters thinking about the first trip of the year. But before venturing out, young boaters should know the new rules on boater safety education.

Beginning May 1, all boaters born on or after May 1, 1996 are now required to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate by completing an eight-hour safe boating course. Courses may be completed and certificates obtained through State Parks, U.S. Power Squadrons, or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Previous law only required the operator of a personal watercraft or any youthful boat operator to obtain a Safe Boating Certificate. The new law signed by the Governor Cuomo phases-in this existing requirement to all boaters beginning with those born on or after May 1, 1996. Read More
Volunteer Spotlight:   
Ed & Judy Fuhr 
Hometown: Colton, New York

When did you get involved?  
In 1992, attempting to establish one woods trail for cross-country skiing.

Describe your participation at the park: We do the volunteer grooming of the trail network for winter use. We also have felt for some time a new multi- purpose building that could enhance summer programs and at the same time serve as a winter warming building for trail users was needed. These projects help establish the Friends group.

What is your favorite thing to do at the park?  Cross-country ski.
What would you suggest to others who might want to get more involved at their favorite park? Any time you donate, no matter how small, will help your Park and help to sustain the resources. Don't avoid participating just because you have a limited amount of time to give. If everyone does a little, great things can be accomplished. It is very rewarding to see people come out to enjoy the efforts put in, and to see how it benefits them.    
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Visit our 

Events Calendar
 hikes, happenings,
festivals & more!

Good, Green Fun for 
Earth Day & Arbor Day  

With two important holidays approaching, Earth Day on April 22nd and Arbor Day on April 25th, New York's state parks are primed and ready to celebrate the environment. Program highlights include:
Designing a nature-inspired t-shirt at Connetquot River State Park; creating a model of the earth from recycled newspaper at Caleb Smith State Park; observing Mother Nature's handiwork with a hike at Saratoga Spa or teaming up with your dog to participate in a spring clean-up event; tree planting and an interpretive walk at Letchworth; and a two-day Arbor Day Family Festival at Planting Fields featuring live music, performances, a children's tree climb and activities for children of all ages to enjoy.

Sleep under the stars in 2014

The latest New York State Camping Guide is here. Be sure to check out the digital version. Some other features for happy campers to enjoy this season include:
  • New yurts at Four Mile Island State Park on Lake Ontario  
  •  Verona Beach State Park's 11 new electric sites  
  • Virtual tours for 40+ campgrounds with more to be added this summer  
  • Uploading camper photos on ReserveAmerica to share your experience

Looking Back 

Marilyn Monroe on set at
Niagara Falls for the 1953
movie "Niagara" 


Meet the Locals: 
Honey Bees

You're not the only one looking forward to spring flowers... Honey Bees can't wait. While these power pollinators haven't been seen all winter they haven't slacked off a bit. Worker bees have tirelessly kept their queen and 
her larvae nestled in honeycombs warm and comfortable by huddling together and moving constantly in their hive, beating their wings to generate heat from their tiny fuzzy bodies. The queen stays in the center of all this movement, comfy and cozy at temps as high as 93F despite the frigid temps outside the hive.

To replenish their energy, bees eat the honey that they prepared and stored over the summer. One colony needs an enormous amount of honey to survive the winter. So when you're admiring the springtime blossoms, be sure to appreciate the work honey bees do all year long prepping for the season.


Do you Instagram?  

Use hashtag #nysparks

 with your park pix for a chance to
be highlighted on our social media channels. We will select photos each week for fan favorite voting. 

Find us at @nystateparks 

Lifeguard Exams   

It's never too early to start
planning for a summer job.
State Parks is holding qualifying
exams for lifeguards for our
many beaches and pools
beginning this month. 
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