Governor Hochul Announces $900,000 in Grants to State Parks, Trails, Historic Sites and Public Land Partner Organizations

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $900,000 in grants to support 27 nonprofit organizations involved in the management of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands. Grants support the efforts of partner groups to raise private funds for capital projects, perform maintenance and beautification work, provide educational programs, and promote public use of parks by hosting special events.

“These local organizations add tremendous value to the stewardship and programming of our state parks, historic sites, trails and public lands, and we are proud to support their efforts,” Governor Hochul said. “Like these parks-dedicated partner organizations, New York State has a strong commitment to public lands, with record funding for parks and environmental protection. I look forward to the many exciting new opportunities in the great outdoors this funding will bring as we head into the summer season.”

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded by the state Environmental Protection Fund. The grants are administered in partnership with the nonprofit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York. This seventh round of awards will be supplemented by over $250,000 in private funds. Beneficiaries must raise external funding of at least 10% of the amount of the grant received.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said: “Friends of State Parks groups and volunteers are a tremendous force behind the success of our parks system. These grants will help leverage the energy and talents of our partners to do even more to improve the parks, historic sites and trails across New York City.”

State Department Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said: “The work of partners such as groups of friends and non-profit organizations is essential to improving DEC’s environmental education and programming and advancing state land access and conservation projects. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the $900,000 grants announced today, this important work can go even further to improve the state’s lands, waters and facilities.”

Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said: “With more and more people discovering the outdoors and using our parks, trails and public lands, the need for strong public/private partnerships has never been greater. Parks and Trails Partnership Grants help strengthen the role of groups of friends in these vital partnerships.”

State Senator Jose M. Serrano said: “Stewardship, conservation, and connecting more people to nature are at the heart of our state park system, and our groups of friends are vital in promoting these practices. I commend the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and Parks and Trails NY for today’s funding announcement to expand participation and access to our state parks.”

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell said: “These exciting investments in our parks reflect the vital role these spaces play in the lives of New Yorkers and will ensure that they remain exciting and attractive to visitors for years to come. I am proud of our state’s commitment to the outdoors and I thank all of the local leaders who help maintain, enhance and celebrate our public spaces.”

Winners include:

Capital Region

  • Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail ($8,600) to install eight park benches along the Columbia County portion of the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail.
  • Friends of Moreau Lake State Park ($48,928) to install an accessible trail with a new trailhead that will include a kiosk and interpretive signs.
  • Upper Hudson Northern Catskill Natural Resource Trust dba Greene Land Trust ($8,800) to develop plans and engineering specifications to replace an undersized culvert for a tributary that empties into the Hudson River.

NYC Center

  • Friends of Mexico Point Park ($30,592) to create a fully accessible trail from the parking lot to the lodge, restrooms and lakeside, including a gazebo and educational signage along the trail.

Finger Lakes

  • Rochester Inclusive Community Rowing ($11,592) to install a fully accessible pathway with eco-friendly materials that will allow access from the boathouse and DEC grounds to the rowing dock.
  • Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park ($12,568) to digitize its archives and collection.
  • Friends of Letchworth State Park ($10,750) to restore and preserve the legacy of Civilian Conservation Corps stone tables in the Upper Falls area.
  • Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway ($60,000) to provide professional community-level coordination and technical support to the Genesee Valley Trail Town initiative focused on consistent trail-wide marketing, attraction and growth of businesses, as well as advocating and fundraising to complete critical trail connectivity to the city.

Hudson Valley

  • Bannerman Castle Trust ($100,000) to hire a development officer to assess, refine and implement the organization’s development activities and to identify, cultivate, solicit and manage key donors and prospects.
  • Friends of Mills Mansion ($32,000) for the purchase of historically accurate materials to create reproduction wall hangings for the Staatsburgh Historic Site Library.
  • Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct ($26,427) to improve the exterior of the Caretaker’s House Visitor Center and the usability and curb appeal of the building’s ADA-compliant entrance, as well as to install an arch and a mechanical device from the Croton Dam to help visitors better understand how the aqueduct works.
  • Little Stony Point Citizens Association ($16,200) to hire a Community Outreach Coordinator to reach the community, members, donors and volunteers and create deeper engagement through events, newsletters and information and calls.
  • Stony Kill Foundation ($76,104) to hire a volunteer and outreach manager who will enhance the capacity to conduct community outreach activities and engage volunteers in stewardship of Stony Kill Farm and its associated trails.
  • Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain ($68,000) to create a pilot mentorship program for high school students and to fund an effort to bring other 4th graders to the parks for hands-on learning about science and history, as well as to conduct a longitudinal study of former program participants to assess longer-term impact.

Long Island

  • Friends of Connetquot ($41,000) to design and install an interpretive exhibit on the hatchery building’s observation deck to view trout propagation, care and feeding, and learn about the work restoration of waterways.
  • Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference ($25,670) to increase the organization’s capacity by updating its administrative and technological infrastructure.

New York City

  • Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park ($15,500) for addressing several landscape issues in Gantry Plaza State Park caused by heavy park use.

Northern country

  • Adirondack Mountain Club ($14,750) for sustainable trail rehabilitation on the Phelps Trail, one of the eastern approaches to Mount Marcy, New York’s tallest mountain.
  • Azure Mountain Friends ($3,600) for repairs to the fire tower landing and outreach to local public schools.
  • John Brown lives! ($26,500) to build capacity through an innovative strategic planning process that will ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site Friends Group.

South level

  • Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park ($36,140) to replace the roof of the historic Old Mill.
  • Friends of Rogers ($80,000) to create an environmental educator position who will develop, lead and organize educational programs for students, youth, families and special interest groups with an emphasis on adults and the elderly.

Western New York

  • Friends of Allegany State Park ($23,400) to renovate the historic Red House sawmill.
  • IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails ($10,000) to produce a consultant-led three- to five-year roadmap plan on how to grow and sustain the organization.
  • Niagara Post Theater ($30,379) for renovating the ceiling of the historic theatre.
  • Old Fort Niagara Association ($75,000) to preserve two iconic historic 18th century redoubts.

Enacted FY2023 budget provides $2 million for next round of Park and Trail Partnership grant funds, part of record $400 million environmental protection fund to support efforts climate change mitigation and adaptation, improve agricultural resources to promote sustainable agriculture, protect our water sources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. Additionally, the budget increased funding for state parks by $140 million, for a total of $250 million. This increase will be invested in upgrading and improving New York State Parks. This substantial level of funding will help with the ongoing transformation of New York’s flagship parks and support critical infrastructure projects throughout the parks system.

Parks & Trails New York is the leading advocate for New York City’s parks and trails statewide, working with grassroots groups for 35 years to strengthen public-private partnerships and improve the health, economy and the quality of life of New Yorkers through the use and enjoyment of green spaces. . For more information, visit

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which are visited by 78 million people each year. For more information about the National Park Recreation Areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

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