ARKVILLE, New York--The Catskill region deserves a modern park. Recently the Catskill Park Coalition, made up of dozens of organizations representing the Catskill region, has met with our state’s legislators to request equitable support for the Catskill Park and Forest preserve, as well as the larger Catskill region. Providing a vastly improved recreational experience for residents and visitors alike will improve the health of our public lands, our people and our economy.
Please join us Tuesday, February 9th in Albany for Catskill Park Awareness Day as we ask for continued support for our beloved Catskill region! For detailed information and to RSVP please visit catskillcenter.org/awareness-day.
The Coalition has had success in helping support our region’s Forest Rangers, to open the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper, and to garner support for marketing the Catskills. During the 2015 legislative session, through the support of Senators Seward and Amedore, the Catskill Park Coalition secured a $500,000 line item in the Department of Environmental Conservation’s “Aid to Localities” budget, an historic budget item for the region that should have shovels in the ground soon. Working on a variety of projects throughout the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve, we’re working to build a modern park.
On Tuesday, February 9th, dozens of organizations will join the Catskill Park Coalition to request support for: a $300M budget for the Environmental Protection Fund, with $4M set aside for the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve for planning, infrastructure maintenance and improvements, and community grants for Catskill towns; support for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Lands & Forests to fill Forest Ranger vacancies and expand the division’s budget to properly manage and oversee the Catskill Park; support for capital projects at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (pavilion, amphitheater, fire tower, trails, solar arrays, electric vehicle charging stations) as well as operational support and funding to grow visitorship and increase visitors services; and increase the Environmental Protection Fund to support priority land acquisition projects to knit together public lands for enhanced recreational opportunities and to increase access in the Catskills; and support for public/private stewardship partnerships such as the Catskill Conservation Corps, the Catskill Summit Stewards program, Fire Tower Stewards program, and the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, to counteract resource degradation from increasing visitors and invasive species.
The Catskill Park Coalition thanks Senators Jim Seward and George Amedore for their support to secure the initial historic budget line for the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve in the DEC Aid to Localities budget. We strongly urge the legislature to build on that momentum and support the Catskill Park Coalition’s priority requests.
Let’s continue to build on New York’s proud and leading legacy of first in the nation conservation. Let’s build a modern park!
The Catskill Park Coalition is an alliance of like-minded groups committed to working together to broaden public appreciation for the Catskill Park and seek additional resources to enhance, maintain, and make available to the public the extraordinary opportunities the Park and its surroundings offer and can offer.