Four Finger Lakes parks and historic sites will receive grants from the state Parks & Trails New York to restore and enhance their facilities.
Statewide, 21 organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of state parks, historic sites and public lands will receive $450,000. The groups raise private funds for capital projects, perform maintenance tasks, provide educational programming and promote public use through hosting special events.
“Across New York, volunteers are bolstering DEC’s work,” said Basil Seggos, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, in a statement. “From our new Campground Ambassadors program to longstanding trail stewardship efforts, volunteers are assisting DEC to protect natural resources and helping to connect more New Yorkers with nature.”
In the Finger Lakes region, four sites will receive grants:
• Friends of Ganondagan: $50,000 to fund the restoration and replacement of the Seneca Bark Longhouse roof;
• Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park: $15,740 to enhance the self-guided interpretive tour to educate visitors about the role Hamlin Beach State Park CCC/POW Camp played during the Depression and World War II;
• Friends of Letchworth State Park: $12,530 to fund a planning document along with two architectural project reports that will allow the Friends group to more effectively manage and fund projects that will move forward the ongoing effort to preserve the Civilian Conservation Corps legacy in the park; and
• Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park: $18,688 for the restoration of the Vinery Greenhouse.
The Park and Trail Partnership Program grants, funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund, will be matched by nearly $200,000 in private and local funding. The grants are designed to enhance the preservation and promotion of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, while increasing the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, volunteerism and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that maintain and support the sites.
“It’s inspiring to see the transformational effect of the Park and Trail Partnership Program grants and how they are enhancing the ability of Friends groups to make an even greater contribution to the stewardship of New York’s great outdoor spaces,” Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said. “These grant funds will enable groups to leverage more private and federal funding, marshal more volunteer power and augment the state’s historic investment in parks, trails and other public outdoor places.”