Park and Trail Partnership Program grants awarded

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Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Preservation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, are pleased to announce the first round of NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program grant awardees. This program is open to Friends organizations that support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites and is administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP.

Twenty Friends organizations will receive $450,000 in Park and Trail Partnership Program grants in the program's first year. The grants, funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by nearly $242,000 in private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities at state parks and historic sites across New York. See the full press release from Governor Cuomo.

Below is a list of the awardees by region:

Capital Region – total awarded: $33,389

  • Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park: $5,609 to install a series of kiosks along the route to the newly rehabilitated Dickinson Hill Fire Tower Historic Site, providing historical and cultural information on the area to the general public
  • Friends of Schodack Island State Park:: $3,400 to install two kiosks, one in each loop of the new park campground, and promotional materials to provide information to campers about the Friends group, the park, and the surrounding community
  • The Olana Partnership: $24,380 to develop interpretive materials that will support new guided tours of the landscape at Olana State Historic Site as part of the 50th anniversary of Olana being saved from destruction.

Central New York – total awarded: $54,230

  • Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum: $45,625 to upgrade the position of Executive Director from part-time to full-time to better serve the educational needs of the area and boost tourism
  • Friends of Fort Ontario: $8,605 to provide wireless internet access at Fort Ontario State Historic Site for the Friends and the public and to create a secure website and an online museum shop

Finger Lakes – total awarded: $110,869

  • Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park: $75,000 to hire a full-time Manager of Corporate Fundraising and Major Gifts who will develop and execute a five-year capital improvement plan
  • Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park: $14,889 to install interpretive signs for a self-guided walking tour of the former Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War site on park grounds, and signs attributing the Friends for its work protecting the historic CCC/POW camp and in the care of bluebird and purple martin houses within the park
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park: $20,980 for materials and training that will enable increased volunteer recruitment and engagement to better steward the park and its trails

Long Island – total awarded: $27,000

  • The Caumsett Foundation, Inc.: $27,000 to develop and implement a plan for programming in the Hay Barn and adjacent buildings that will generate revenue the Friends can use to maintain these historical buildings

Mid-Hudson Region – total awarded: $103,725

  • Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct: $47,475 to design and equip a Visitor and Education Center (the site’s first) within the Keeper’s House, a National Historic Landmark that had previously been empty and unused
  • Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Inc.: $35,000 to hire fundraising and social media specialists to raise the funds needed to refurbish the roads around Swan Lake (Brothers’ Path)
  • Walkway Over the Hudson: $21,250 to increase the organization’s capacity to attract and host tour groups through training, outreach, and the development of site-specific, multi-lingual materials

New York City – total awarded: $45,392

  • Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, Inc.: $33,392 to expand and implement print and digital advertising programs and new marketing initiatives to establish Four Freedoms State Park as a premier NYC destination
  • Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park: $12,000 to replace damaged Adirondack chairs, cast iron tree grates, and broken light fixtures, and for a postcard campaign to the surrounding neighborhood to publicize these improvements and Friends-led volunteer events

North Country – total awarded: $11,647

  • Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site: $7,212 to install a monument that will promote visitation to the site by adding Crown Point to the “Knox Cannon Trail,” correcting a 1929 omission that incorrectly left Crown Point off of this heritage trail.
  • Friends of the Nature Center, Inc.: $4,435 to replace and enhance the signage for all 13 trails at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center at Wellesley Island State Park

Southern Tier – total awarded: $10,748

  • Friends of Chenango Valley State Park: $5,998 to purchase supplies for the new Interpretive Center building, an outdoor movie theater system, and build three recycling stations for the camping areas
  • Friends of Gorge Parks: $4,750 to achieve legal non-profit status for a new group that will steward Robert H. Treman, Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock Falls, Fillmore Glen, Watkins Glen, and Stony Brook State Parks

Western New York – total awarded: $53,000

  • Friends of Midway State Park: $17,000 to boost visitation to the park and increase utilization of the new miniature golf course; profits from evening use of the golf course will further the Friends’ restoration and preservation efforts.
  • Friends of Knox Farm State Park: $36,000 to paint the clad exterior of the Main House and complete the restoration of the Main House and enhance the site’s appeal as an event space


Background on the Park and Trail Partnership Program:

The Park and Trail Partnership Program is a $500,000 capacity-building matching grants program funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The program is designed to:

    • Enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, maintenance and promotion of New York State parks, trails and state historic sites.
    • Increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, and volunteer and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain, and support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites.
    • Promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails and greenways.