Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new attendance milestone for New York State Parks, with 84.1 million visits in 2023, marking an 11th consecutive year of growth. This nearly 4.7 million increase from 2022 highlights the state’s commitment to enhancing outdoor recreational spaces as New York’s park system approaches its 100th anniversary in 2024. The boost in visitors underscores the public’s growing appreciation for the state’s natural and historic sites, from hiking and camping to enjoying family gatherings.
The record-setting year reflects significant investments in park facilities, including the completion of a $47 million project at Hempstead Lake State Park and the opening of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Welcome Center at Niagara Falls State Park. These improvements, part of Governor Hochul’s long-term strategy to promote outdoor recreation, aim to make New York’s parks more accessible and enjoyable for visitors, while also driving local economies.
As New York State Parks prepare to celebrate their centennial in 2024, initiatives like the Centennial Challenge encourage visitors to engage in diverse park activities. Governor Hochul’s proposed budget includes $300 million for park improvements, highlighting the administration’s dedication to expanding and enhancing the state’s green spaces. This investment in New York’s parks is expected to continue attracting record numbers of visitors, showcasing the parks as vital resources for recreation, education, and environmental conservation.
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