The State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash has announced an increase in park attendance. According to Ash, state parks attendance has increased by 1.3 million visitors, up 11 percent from last year, while July 4th holiday weekend camping reservations reflect 90 percent occupancy. Additionally, sales of the park system’s $65 annual pass, the Empire Passport, increased statewide 1.5 percent over 2009 numbers, with more than 40,000 passes sold this year.
Ash also introduced a new summer campaign to encourage New Yorkers to visit and support state parks and historic sites. The statewide Find Your Fun social network and web-based initiative will run through September and utilize the agency’s website (www.nysparks.com) as well as Facebook and Twitter.
Regular updates and highlights will be provided about summer-related Find Your Fun suggestions and activities going on at state parks and sites to engage visitors. Park staff will offer an insider’s look at popular spots, hidden gems and interesting facts, and visitors will be encouraged to share photos, recipes, and favorites, while programs, activities and trip suggestions will also be promoted.
Ash is also encouraging New Yorkers support parks and historic sites by joining Friends Groups, volunteering at parks or making financial donations to the park through the agency website.
Last year, the state park system recorded nearly 56 million visits. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.