The State Council of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation consists of the Commissioner of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, Chairs of the eleven Regional Parks Commissions (including a representative of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission), and Chair of the State Board of Historic Preservation. The Regional Commissions are charged with acting as a central advisory body on all matters affecting parks, recreation and historic preservation within their respective regions, with particular focus on the operations of the State Parks and Historic Sites.
The priorities for 2011 outlined in the report are:
1. Park Operations Funding – Keep Our Parks Open!
New York State must provide adequate funding to keep our 213 state parks open to the public and to provide safe, clean and affordable recreational and educational experiences to the 57 million people that visit our facilities each year.
2. State Parks Capital Budget – Reinstitute the $100 Million Commitment.
New York State must reinstitute the State Parks Capital Initiative to provide $100 million annually in capital funding to begin to address the $1.1 billion backlog of park rehabilitation and health & safety needs in our state parks and historic sites.
3. Dedicated Funding Mechanism.
New York State should establish a new dedicated funding source to provide sustainable funding for the state park system.
4. Public-Private Partnerships.
The State Council and Regional Commissions will continue to help establish new “Friends Groups” – 16 new organizations have been started since 2007 – and to help strengthen existing Friends Groups to increase private support for state parks and historic sites. The State Council of Parks also continues to encourage partnerships with for-profit, non-profit and governmental entities for a wide range
of support, from direct monetary contributions and formal concession agreements to operations and programming. A list of such active and recent partnerships appears as an appendix to the report.
5. Private Fundraising Campaign.
During 2011 the State Council will continue to pursue private funding from individuals, corporations, and foundations – building upon the $5.6 million in private support that has been raised since 2009 to support the State Park System.
The full report can be viewed and downloaded as a pdf here: