Discuss local parks, preserves and lakes here.
There was a post on facebook for Save Thacher SP earlier this week indicating it was already padlocked.
Most of the parking lots normally open during the winter have been locked since last fall at Thacher. Indian Ladder hasn't been open yet this year. Matter of fact, only Paint Mine and Hop Field have been open. I don't know about Ryan Road or the Quarry parking, neither have gates to lock, so I don't know if they are going to put up barricades or what. Then there's the parking along Beaver Dam Road, which also would be difficult to block access to. I would think it would cost more to block those and patrol them to keep people out than it would to just open the dang park. I still think it's another publicity move, saying they mean it this time, I really doubt they would jepardize all that federal money they get just to prove a point.
So...it will be trespass if you cross a barricade? Its one thing if they dont want to fund the maintenance and hospitality of the parks...but patrol and arrest people? Let it be wildnerness and let the people use it for recreation.
By CHRIS CAROLA
Associated Press Writer
ALBANY — State parks officials said Friday they’ll start shutting down or keeping closed dozens of parks and historic sites next week because of New York’s budget crisis.
The gates at 41 parks and 14 historic sites will be locked starting Monday, said Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee.
Most of the properties were closed for the winter or had reduced services, but typically would be preparing to reopen for the Memorial Day weekend, she said.
Larrabee said employees that had been assigned to the affected parks and historic sites are being transferred to others that are remaining open.
The properties on the closing list include John Boyd Thacher State Park, a clifftop park popular for its views of Albany, and several historic sites in the Hudson Valley commanded by Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The cuts also include canceling the annual July 4th fireworks display at state-run Jones Beach on Long Island.
A parks advocate called the situation a “slap in the face” to taxpayers.
“It’s just preposterous that New Yorkers are being locked out of their parks,” said Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks & Trails New York. “Of all things they pay taxes on, parks is what they feel like they get the most back from.”
Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, questioned whether closing the Riverbank State Park in Harlem was even legal since it was created as mitigation for the construction of a wastewater treatment plant nearby. The park is very popular because it has a public swimming pool.
“It’s outrageous that the state is doing this, especially in light of the fact that so little of the state’s parkland is located downstate,” Croft said. Another popular city park, the 12-acre Bayswater State Park in Jamaica Bay, has an operating budget of just $5,000 a year, he said. “So this is clearly not about money.”
Lawn mowing, trail upkeep and other basic maintenance work had already been suspended at the sites. Starting Monday, restrooms at those properties will stay locked and picnic tables will remain in storage, Larrabee said. Those and other cost-cutting moves are expected to save the state several million dollars.
“Now that we are approaching Memorial Day, our high season, we do have to take these more affirmative steps to make sure we can secure those savings,” she said. “We do consider these closures to be temporary, whether it be a year or less.”
While the warmer weather has brought out people to parks that aren’t officially open, starting Monday they’ll be asked to leave for safety reasons, Larrabee said.
So....they will ask you to leave....what if you refuse? Also this means the state is paying someone to patrol!
“We close parks all the time,” she said. “We close parks at night, during the offseason. We close areas of parks at a certain time, so it’s not unusual. When people are at a closed park, we will ask them to leave.”
The Legislature has voted to restore $11.3 million in parks funding cut from Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal, but there’s no agreement yet on a spending plan that’s already more than 40 days late.
Paterson and parks Commissioner Carol Ash announced earlier this year that dozens of the state’s 178 parks and 35 historic sites would have to be closed and others would have their services reduced because of New York’s budget deficit, now estimated at $9.2 billion.
Ironically I got my photo of the Chimney Bluffs on the cover of the Wayne County Tourism brochure for 2010 (a testament to the value of that park for the county) and days later the park is closed. Luckily, that park is one of the more accessible parks... Sure the parking area in the west end will be closed, as will the restrooms, but the east end has always been a great way to get to the bluffs.
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Congrats Matt. Did you ever post your pics from the Bluffs here? I would like to see them. Glad we went when we did. Wonder if they would ticket or tow if people parked roadside.
my pics are in serious need of an update
pic 8 is the cover of the brochure
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Contact your Senators...may there be hope to keep them open?