Green Lakes State Park here in Central New York is one of the main focuses of an improvement plan that will eventually dump almost $1 billion into the parks system. Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey stood on the tee of the Green Lakes golf course Thursday to announce a series of improvements. The clubhouse patio was being repaired right in front of her, with the interior slated for remodeling next year.
Governor Cuomo is partnering with Green Lakes to help change the deteriorating conditions of the park. Cuomo has made a commitment to financially supporting the New York State parks system. His NY parks 2020 plan will invest $900 million in state parks over five years, $110 million in this year’s budget. Harvey can see benefits over and above just the parks facilities. She says parks are essential for the well-being of our community.
“It is about leveraging these investments in cultural, athletics, hospitality facilities. We’re going to create local construction jobs. Alone, state parks and also all the local parks, contribute $800 million in tourism and together we will work to increase [that].”
Another improvement will be a complete remodel of one campground. Green Lakes Park Manager Laura Tully describes changes to a place that was built in the 1940s
“We now will be catering to the way people camp now. They no longer camp the way they used to camp 40 years ago. They will have full hook up. They’ll have electric water and sewer. We’ll have a new modern restroom and eventually we’ll have wi-fi. It’ll be wonderful.”
Tully says these improvements will draw different types of campers to the facilities. Campers in tents and campers in modern R.V.’s will have space on the camp grounds. Tully also says the 20 miles of trails are being tended to, improving drainage and controlling invasive species. Many of the park and golf course changes are finished or in progress.
Parks Commissioner Harvey also announced improvements to Verona Beach, including a new bathhouse with accessible restrooms and a concession stand. There’s also an expanded beach that provides flood protection. The two projects total $13 million of investment.