New York, NY - March 24, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that online registration is now open for the fourth annual I Love My Park Day, to be held on May 2 at state parks and historic sites across New York. Since its launch in 2012, the number of parks involved in I Love My Park Day has more than doubled, with the number of volunteers taking part tripling. Event details can be found at www.nysparks.com.
"For all New Yorkers who enjoy our state's beautiful parks and historic sites throughout the year, I extend the invitation to volunteer on May 2 and help ensure these sites remain some of the best in the nation," Governor Cuomo said. "These parks offer the best of New York's outdoor recreational opportunities, attract tourists who support local economies and bring people together. Participating in 'I Love My Park Day' is a great way to give back to these special places, and I encourage everyone to come and lend a hand."
Sponsored jointly by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York, I Love My Park Day is a statewide event that improves and enhances New York’s parks and historic sites, bringing increased visibility to the entire park system. Volunteers will celebrate New York’s park system by cleaning up winter damage and other debris on park lands and beaches, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species, and working on various site improvement projects. Nearly 90 parks and historic sites will participate, from Montauk Point to Niagara Falls.
In 2014, more than 6,000 volunteers took part in over 120 cleanup, improvement and beautification projects at more than 80 state parks and historic sites, contributing 12,000 hours of volunteer service. For photos from previous years, see here, here, here and here.
The New York State Commission on Volunteer and Community Service is joining the effort again this year to help recruit volunteers, promote the initiative and provide support to projects across the state.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Governor Cuomo continues to lead the transformation of parks and sites throughout the state with his NY Parks 2020 plan to invest $900 million in public and private dollars to modernize our state park system. Our volunteers are vital partners in this effort to make our parks and sites the very best they can be. I’d like to thank Parks & Trails New York for organizing I Love My Park Day, and invite volunteers of all ages to join us again for this special opportunity for a strong show of support for New York’s wonderful park system.”
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, “Governor Cuomo’s historic investment has helped New York’s state parks and historic sites make significant improvements, but to help them sparkle like the gems they are, we’re enlisting the support of friends, volunteers and partners. We hope New Yorkers who use and love their parks will take advantage of this opportunity to do their part by pitching in at this year’s I Love My Park Day. With this year’s increased number of projects and participating parks, there is something available for everyone in every region of the state!”
Registration for I Love My Park Day can be found by visiting: http://www.ptny.org/ilovemypark/index.shtml.
I Love My Park Day underscores Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improving parks and expanding access to outdoor recreation. As part of his 2015 Opportunity Agenda, the Governor announced his NY Parks 2020 plan, making a multi-year commitment to leverage a broad range of private and public funding to invest approximately $900 million in State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2015-16 Executive Budget proposes $110 million toward this initiative.