May 06, 2017
I Love My Park Day 2017
I Love My Park Day is an exciting statewide event, organized by Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) in partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and local Friends groups, to celebrate and enhance New York’s parks and historic sites and bring visibility to the entire park system and its needs.
Over 100 state parks and historic sites will participate, from Jones Beach State Park to Niagara Falls State Park. New this year to help celebrate the sixth anniversary of I Love My Park Day, we’re excited to expand the event to public lands in the Adirondacks and Catskills managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), as well as several National Park Service (NPS) sites in celebration of NPS’s centennial.
I Love My Park Day 2016 Highlights
110 State Parks, Historic Sites and Public Lands Enhanced
Thanks to the nearly 7,500 volunteers who pitched in on Saturday, PTNY's fifth annual I Love My Park Day was a huge success. With your help, we accomplished so much.
Volunteers took part in more than 200 cleanup, improvement, and beautification projects at 110 state parks and historic sites in every corner of the state.
- At Moreau State Park, three trails were created on the 800 acres of newly acquired property while restoring one trail for the visually impaired. According to the park director, Peter Iskenderian, “This was the best ILMPD event we've ever had at the park.”
- For the first time, events were held in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Maintenance was done on portions of the 65 miles of Otter Creek State Forest horse trails in the Adirondack Park, and volunteers at the DEC Catskill Interpretive Center planted trees, installed riparian vegetation, and helped with the removal of invasive species.
- Members of the Governor’s new Excelsior Conservation Corps were deployed to 10 parks across the state.
- We welcomed five National Parks to the event to help celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. More than 250 volunteers at Fire Island collected debris from the beach, boardwalks, and Sunken Forest. At the Saratoga National Battlefield, volunteers painted interpretive panel frames and cleaned the granite monuments on the battlefield.
- Letchworth Park drew a large crowd whose many hands raked leaves, removed litter, and stained benches.
- At Minnewaska, volunteers marked a new section of trail to the base of Stony Kill Falls.
- Volunteers gathered to stain 350 feet of path railing at the Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls State Park.
- Volunteers worked with DEC and Parks staff to plant pitch pine at Connetquot River State Park Preserve on Long Island in the wake of southern pine beetle infestation. Over 600 trees were donated from the NYS Saratoga tree nursery.
- Volunteers worked alongside gardeners and park staff in the Greenwich Village section of Hudson River Park in a garden bed renovation project assisting with the addition of compost, mulch, and other soil and horticulture tasks while beautifying the beds and bikeway buffer through planting and garden bed edging.
Visit Parks & Trails New York on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for great photos from around the state.
Headlines Tout Love for Parks
Governor Cuomo's invitation to all New Yorkers to volunteer on Saturday put our state parks system, its needs, and the strong public support for parks in the public's eye. Stories ran in print, online, and on the air. Social media was buzzing with posts, tweets and photos from events around the state.
A Boost to Volunteerism
New and veteran volunteers came out to give back to the parks they use and enjoy all year and create a community of park lovers. Many park and historic site Friends groups enjoyed the best turnout ever for a volunteer event. A huge youth turnout helped to cement lifelong relationships with the outdoors and ensure the future stewardship of our parks and historic sites.
Together, we will build on the tremendous momentum generated by I Love My Park Day. PTNY will be working with the State Parks and Friends groups to build on the success of the event by engaging new volunteers, building a strong community of park stewards, and expanding Friends groups' capacity.
A big thank you to our partners at State Parks, Governor Cuomo, DEC, NPS and the NY State Commission on National and Community Service, our corporate and media sponsors, and all the wonderful volunteers who came out, rolled up their sleeves, and helped make I Love My Park Day a huge success!