Grant recipients include the Long Island Plantation Foundation, the Caumsett Foundation, Friends of Jones Beach and the Marine Conservation Society of the Atlantic.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced $1.8 million in grants to support 28 nonprofit organizations involved in the management of state parks, trails, historic sites and public lands, the largest award in the history of the Parks and Trails Partnership Grant Program. These grants support the efforts of partner groups to raise private funds for capital projects, undertake maintenance and beautification projects, provide educational programs, and host special events that promote public use of the parks.

“We are proud to support the work of incredible grassroots partner organizations that advance the management and planning of our state parks, historic sites, trails and public lands,” Governor Hochul said. “With the largest investment in the history of the Park and Trail Partnership Grants program, New York State is sending a message that we are deeply committed to protecting and funding our public lands as we continue our nation-leading climate adaptation program.”

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants program is funded by the state Environmental Defense Fund. The grant was administered in partnership with the nonprofit advocacy organization Parks & Trails New York. The eighth round of awards will be matched with more than $625,000 in private funds. Recipients must raise external funding of at least 10% of the grant amount received.

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “State Parks is very fortunate to have incredible partners in Governor Hochul, Parks & Trails New York, and countless friend groups and volunteers who help ensure the success of our offerings to the public. I look forward to seeing this How a historic investment of $1.8 million will help more New Yorkers access and connect to our extraordinary natural and historic resources.”

New York State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The natural beauty and character of New York’s lands attract millions of visitors each year, and the support of our stewardship partners is critical to maintaining and protecting these areas and the continued need for facilities such as the Environmental Education Center. Today’s important grant recognizes these partners With the critical role DEC and other public resources play, we thank Governor Hochul for his continued investment to help provide essential services and allow visitors to enjoy the great outdoors now and in the future.”

Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Paul Steely White said, “These grants are like fertile organic manure, growing grassroots movements to improve New York’s parks, trails, historic sites, and public lands. Accessible kayak launches, bridge repairs, strategic planning, and youth education are just some of the new grants Just a few examples of projects that will bring more nature and more joy to more New Yorkers.”

State Senator Jose M. Serrano said, “Our state parks are a much-needed resource for communities across the state. These resources will not continue to be available without the unwavering support and stewardship of grassroots organizations and groups of friends who work to critically maintain, beautify and protect them. This year’s funding announcement will provide an unprecedented $1.8 million in grants to 28 nonprofit organizations. Many thanks to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York Parks and Trails, and Governor Hochul for their work on this issue.”

Councilor Daniel O’Donnell said, “Parks and public lands are critical to the quality of life for all New Yorkers. As chair of the council committee that oversees state parks, I am deeply committed to ensuring our parks thrive and are accessible to all. I am grateful for this historic investment Excited that this will enable outstanding and influential grassroots organizations to further expand, protect and promote open spaces for current users and future generations.”

The 2023 honorees include:

capital region

  • Friends of Johnson Hall ($27,585) is developing an app that will enhance traditional physical tours through the historic building, allowing visitors of different abilities and cultures to engage with existing interpretations.

  • Friends of US Grant Cottage ($36,000) for the design and engineering of a trail that will provide accessible walking routes to the Eastern Overlook for visitors with physical limitations.

  • Lake George Battlefield Park (Fort George) Alliance ($50,000) to hire a membership services manager to increase the park’s profile through marketing, fundraising and the operation of a new visitor center.

central new york

  • The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum ($146,250) was used to restore the exterior and interior of a 1990 replica of the Erie Canal Times store to provide year-round use of the new ADA-compliant programming area.

  • Friends of Fillmore Glen State Park ($4,000) hired a consulting firm to evaluate and design replacements for the heavily used in situ stone staircases that provide direct access to various locations within the park.

finger lakes

  • Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park ($29,118), to enhance inclusive recreational access to District 3 beaches by installing mobile mats and providing floating beach chairs.

  • Friends of Letchworth State Park ($8,000) plans to upgrade access to three picnic shelters and a comfort station in the park to better serve park visitors with physical limitations.

long island

  • The Planting Fields Foundation ($108,129) to renovate and install ADA accessible pathways that will increase accessibility, pedestrian safety, and guide visitors to prominent sites within the park.

  • Caumsett Foundation, Inc. ($55,500) for a feasibility study that will repair two trails with safety concerns, improve the local ecological community, and create an educational viewing point.

  • Friends of Jones Beach ($10,025) To create an organizational capacity building program for this newly formed Friends of State Parks group.

  • The Atlantic Marine Conservation Society’s ($26,145) “Lunch and Learn” series trains New York state park staff, lifeguards and educators in proper procedures for handling marine life that washes ashore.

middle hudson

  • The Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance ($150,000) repaired, re-decked and installed safety barriers for the 1912 Warren Truss Bridge – the gateway to Mills-Norrie State Park and the Hudson River.

  • Friends of Philipse Manor Hall ($48,100) for marketing/membership campaigns and targeted program development to facilitate visits to the renovated and renewed historic site.

  • Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain ($100,000) adds two new educational programs that will expand to young people from groups currently underrepresented in these parks.

  • The Jay Heritage Center ($150,000) to create ADA access at the historic Jay Gardens, allowing more visitors and partners to enjoy the award-winning gardens and social justice programs.

  • Mamakating Environmental Education Center/Friends of MEEC ($51,300) Creates additional programs in the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area that will help form alliances with other groups and expand reach to a wider audience.

  • The Morgan Duke Conservation Society ($5,789) organizes ongoing community cleanups in the Hudson River Special Conservation District and encourages citizens and college students to become long-term volunteers.

  • Palisades Parks Conservancy ($150,000) to hire a project manager who will strengthen community engagement and activation, improve marketing and branding, and implement DEIA programs at Palisades Regional State Parks.

  • Stony Kill Foundation Inc. ($150,000) to undertake essential renovations to the Farm and Agricultural Learning Area, a public program and youth education center for Stony Kill Farm.

New York City

  • Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park ($25,011) to purchase tables and umbrellas that will provide additional seating and shaded comfort in response to significantly increased visitation to the park.


  • Friends of Higley Flow State Park ($45,966) purchased an ADA accessible kayak launch and ramp access, which was installed in collaboration with volunteers and park staff.

  • John Brown is alive! ($150,000) for its first executive director position, which will help professionalize and stabilize the organization and its ongoing impact on behalf of the John Brown Farm National Historic Site.

west new york

  • Artpark & ​​Company, Inc. ($100,000) hired a Director of Education, Interpretation, and Accessibility who will organize year-round education and outreach events, establish new programs, and partner with NYS Parks on environmental education and outreach.

  • Chautauqua County Equestrian Trail System ($68,000) to develop a multi-year strategic plan focused on marketing, fundraising, and volunteer support to expand the diversity of trail users and expand and strengthen partnerships.

  • Friends of Knox Farm State Park ($75,000) for the renovation of Mansion Summer Estate, a unique wedding and event venue managed by The Friends.

  • Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve ($10,581), to construct a pen to protect and establish native forest and improve public access and education related to forest ecosystems.

  • Impact: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails ($7,396) to replace a 30-foot bridge built in partnership with Alfred State College and DEC and install two trail counters that collect data on nearby trails.

  • Old Fort Niagara Association ($12,103) Created a rest stop for cyclists on the Niagara Greenway bike path at Old Fort Niagara State Park.

The FY 2024 Budget provides $2 million for the next round of the Park and Trail Partnership grant fund as part of a record $400 million environmental protection fund to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and improve agricultural resources for sustainable agriculture , protect our water resources, advance conservation efforts, and provide recreational opportunities for New Yorkers. Additionally, the budget includes $200 million for state park capital improvement projects. This substantial funding will help in the ongoing transformation of New York’s flagship park and support critical infrastructure projects across the park system.

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

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