New York State is partnering with a tent camping service to provide 45 glamping sites at four State Parks in the Hudson Valley. Tentrr’s fully outfitted campsites are available to reserve at the Sebago and Silver Mine areas of Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland Counties; Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County; and Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County.
The service provides tents, sleeping accommodations and an array of equipment needed for camping at each site. All items are set up and ready to use upon arrival for added convenience and sites are maintained by Tentrr staff.
All locations include a 10-foot by 12-foot, canvas-walled tent atop a raised platform. Each site is outfitted with a queen-sized bed and memory foam mattress, a propane heating source, a solar-powered “sun” shower, a camp toilet, water container, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, grill, and a picnic table with storage and benches.
Guests have the option of single, double, and triple sites. Singles sleep up to six (two occupants in the main tent and four occupants in a provided pop-up tent). Double sites – or buddy sites – sleep up to 12 (two occupants in each of the two main tents and four occupants in each of the two provided pop-up tents) and triples can accommodate group camping.
“Camping at a State Park is an ideal way to explore the great outdoors with friends and family,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This partnership continues our work to create diverse and exciting destinations to attract visitors to New York’s great outdoors, enhance our tourism economy, and help people experience all that the State has to offer.”
“The partnership with Tentrr is an opportunity to reach new visitors and encourage more New Yorkers to get outside and be active,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “We look forward to kicking off this summer and connecting people with the Hudson Valley’s many outdoor offerings. Not everyone has the equipment or the knowledge to enjoy camping in a state park, and this partnership is a great way to introduce this classic outdoor experience to more New Yorkers.”
“As a New York City-based company, it is great to partner with our home state supporting its incredible park system across the region,” said Todd King, Vice President of Marketing at Tentrr. “Through Tentrr, we hope New Yorkers and out-of-state visitors alike will explore the incredible natural resources and parks the state has to offer. Tentrr makes it easy to find an amazing site to enjoy the state’s vast landscapes and inspiring scenery.”
New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said,”Camping is a terrific way to experience New York State’s great outdoors, and this new service will make it easier than ever to enjoy New York’s unparalleled State Parks. I LOVE NY looks forward to promoting the availability of these extensively outfitted sites as part of the wide variety of camping offerings available across the state to residents and visitors alike.”
While Tentrr’s sites are naturally socially distanced, Tentrr adheres to state guidelines for maintaining and sanitizing the sites. Tentrr will continue to keep sites clean and wiped down with high-grade sanitizers and encourages guests to follow recommended COVID requirements and protocols. For more details on Tentrr’s COVID-19 protocols, visit here.
The Tentrr partnership complements Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 100 initiative, which renews the historic commitment to investing and expanding the State Park system by committing at least $440 million over the next four years. This critical period of revitalization will culminate in the 2024 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the State Park Act, which first created our nation-leading State Park system in 1924 under Governor Al Smith. NY Parks 100 will continue crucial investments in park infrastructure while enhancing opportunities to reach the full range of New York State’s recreational and cultural offerings, including local parks and trails, regional flagship parks and historic sites, and vast wilderness parks. The initiative will focus on creating places to recreate locally, relieving overcrowded parks, welcoming new visitors, and protecting New York State’s environmental and historic legacy. This new plan will ensure people from all communities and across all ages and abilities can fully experience our outdoors, our culture, and our heritage.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram , Twitter or on the State Parks blog.
Reservations are now being accepted for a glamping experience on the Champlain Canal that will attract visitors to the State’s historic upper Hudson Valley and boost the local economy that is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Camp Rockaway, a New York State based outdoor excursion company, will manage the site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville between Memorial Day weekend and September 8, with possible extension through early October. The glamping site will offer vacationing New Yorkers an opportunity to experience the vast history and bucolic landscapes of one of New York’s oldest canalside communities by enjoying luxury camping on the banks of the Canal.
“This overnight destination combines an exceptional camping experience with opportunities to see and visit the vibrant and rich canalside landscape in entirely new ways, embodying the mission of the entire Reimagine the Canals program,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “By investing in long-overlooked sites along the State’s Canals, we will showcase the very best of our State to both New Yorkers and visitors alike, preserving the rich history of the Canal system while stimulating local economies at a time when they most need it.”
Individuals and families can rent safari style pre-pitched tents that are each furnished with a Queen-size bed featuring a memory foam mattress, side tables with solar lights, pillows, linens, extra blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies. Additional amenities that can be found at the campsite include fire pits, a picnic-and-grill area, hammocks, a supply store, cell phone charging station, bathroom and shower facilities, and games such as cornhole.
“Camp Rockway offers families, groups and couples an opportunity to enjoy the Champlain Canal, while still preserving and celebrating the Canal’s historic impact. New Yorkers can safely connect with nature, and each other, while also supporting the economies of canalside communities,” New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said. T”his is all thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision to Reimagine the Canals into a tourist and recreation destination, breathing new life into one of the State’s greatest assets while supporting a more resilient New York.”
“This new glamping site is proof positive of the tremendous impact of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals program, preserving the immense history of the Canal while showcasing how its infrastructure and properties can be made part of the foundation of the future of our State,” New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said. “Glampers will enjoy world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while remaining safe and socially distanced, as well as lift up local Schuylerville businesses with increased tourism.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation to bring glamping to Upstate New York, offering both residents and visitors alike a whole new way to experience the history and beauty of the Canals,” Camp Rockaway’s Kent Johnson said. “We look forward to helping New Yorkers get out of the house and into the outdoors in a safe and responsible way during this summer season, and for many years to come.”
This new glamping experience is the latest innovation from Governor Cuomo’s $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative that is revitalizing the Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and the resiliency of canalside communities.
Admission-Free Facility to Serve as Year-Round Tourist Destination,Offer STEM Education to Area Youth
New York State is opening a new admission-free attraction, John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone, designed and financed by the New York Power Authority, in Utica, to tell the story of the state’s electric history, electric companies, and progress toward a clean, renewable energy future.
New York, with a nation-leading climate plan, is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality.
The 15,000-square-foot New York State museum of energy in Utica, located next to the Utica Zoo, is expected to open to the public May 10.
The NY Energy Zone will introduce you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn. Plus you will learn about NYS’s exciting electric history, its great electric companies and the important work at NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Control Center in nearby Marcy.
The facility features exhibits that simulate flying a drone to check on power transmission lines, controlling electricity on an energy grid, operating a power plant, and building a micro power grid along with many other interactive activities designed to teach visitors about the past, present and future of energy in New York State.
Exhibits throughout the museum reflect input and information from New York’s major private utilities; NYPA’s sister agency, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) as well as industry trade groups. Each entity shares its role in the energy and electricity story of New York State that is highlighted throughout the Energy Zone.
Are you ready? An electrifying experience awaits…
Activate and personalize your Power Pass with an avatar
Step into the zone with our 3-D immersive movie experience “Imagination!” in the Magi Theater
Travel back in time with Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
Build a bulb, a power plant, microgrid, solar and wind installation
Become a control room operator
Explore the ‘Future of the Grid’ room and watch the sparks fly
“Fly” a drone over power lines
Plus enjoy photo op moments and more
“I visit the Power Authority’s Niagara Power Vista in Lewiston every chance I get and now I am thrilled that I’ll be able to learn even more about the New York energy story at the New York Energy Zone in Utica,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “NYPA’s first-class visitors centers attract visitors from around the world. This energy museum will help boost the local economy as more tourists visit the area. Educators from around the state and beyond will appreciate what the museum has to offer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programming, and we will all benefit by inspiring new leaders in these fields as we transform our energy system to a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040.”
Named for former NYPA Chairman John S. Dyson, the new facility is affiliated with NYPA’s Frederick R. Clark Energy Center — the hub of its statewide power transmission control center located in Marcy. The two-story facility features a 3D feature film about Nikola Tesla directed by Douglas Trumbull, known for his work on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), and Blade Runner (1982). The film showcases the contributions of Tesla and other famous inventors from the past, returning Tesla to the present to introduce him to the amazing electrical achievements and opportunities of today that have been made possible by his work.
The facility also is home to a STEM Lab — a space dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and focused on student learning. The STEM Lab’s programming will be developed in partnership with local educational entities with an expertise in STEM and will host hands-on educational experiences and special events.
The museum is named for John S. Dyson, who served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Power Authority from 1979 to 1985, and vice chairman and member of the board of trustees from 2011 to 2012. Hallmarks of his leadership at NYPA include a legacy of strengthening the state’s power transmission system, energy conservation, and programs to promote energy efficiency and economic development, including initiatives allocating lower cost electricity to businesses in return for job commitments. As the state’s Commerce Commissioner in the late 1970s, he established the “I Love New York” program. A longtime New Yorker, Dyson grew up in Westchester and Dutchess counties and graduated from Cornell University. He lives in Millbrook, Dutchess County.
The museum is expected to complement the region’s tourism attractions and contribute to its economic development, in addition to showcasing New York State as being on the vanguard of a clean, renewable energy economy.
All visits to the new John S. Dyson New York Energy Zone will follow New York Forward COVID-19 safety precautions. For more information or to schedule a time to visit after May 10, visit NYPA’s New York Energy Zone webpage.
Anthony J. Picente Jr., NYPA trustee and Oneida County Executive, said,”Utica is a natural location for this museum of energy because it complements the work of our Frederick R. Clark Energy Center, NYPA’s system-wide energy transmission complex in Marcy. I am grateful to my colleagues at the Power Authority for their vision in conceiving and developing this magnificent facility in Oneida County that will inspire our next generation of energy leaders and benefit all New Yorkers for decades to come.”
Housed in a 19th-century dairy barn Blenheim-Gilboa features exhibits describing the unique engineering of a pumped-storage power facility. On the grounds stands Lansing Manor, a 19th century home preserved for modern visitors. Hiking, boating and fishing are very popular.
The Hawkins Point Visitors Center nests on an island in the St. Lawrence River. Visitors will learn about the series of dams, walls, and canals that let the enormous river provide power to both Canada and New York.
At the renovated Niagara Power Vista, the power generation exhibits are on a par with those of the best science museums in the country—and it’s just five miles from Niagara Falls.
The NY Energy Zone introduces you to the dynamic world of electricity, past, present, and future, and New York State’s part in it. Interactive exhibits, activities, movies and videos meet you at every turn.
New York State’s Nation-Leading Climate Plan
Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieving its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including over $4 billion invested in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2019, a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035, and 1,800 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities and advancing progress towards the state’s 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.
NYPA is one of the largest state public power organizations in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information, visit www.nypa.gov.
Set A Goal To Run, Walk, or Bicycle the New 750-Mile Recreation Trail This Spring
Registration Is Now Open Here For Four-Month Challenge
The Empire State Trail has formed a partnership with the nationally-known Boilermaker race to create the “Empire State Trail Challenge” – a four-month virtual race where participants can register and log their miles to reach milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail.
Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced completion of the Trail, now the nation’s longest multi-use state trail. Following New York’s historic canal systems and rail trails, the new recreational trail spans the state from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo, and gives bicyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and others a safe and scenic pathway to experience New York State’s incredibly diverse landscapes.
“The Empire State Trail Challenge brings together two giants of outdoor recreation in New York State – our new 750-mile Empire State Trail and Utica’s classic Boilermaker race,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue to come back from the COVID-19 health crisis, the challenge is a great way to show how we can have fun and be New York Tough at the same time. I encourage any interested New Yorkers to participate in this exciting event on our incredible new statewide trail.”
The Boilermaker organization has held a 15-kilometer running race in Utica since 1978, which has grown into one of the largest 15K races in the country, attracting 10,000 to 15,000 participants annually. With the Boilermaker and most in-person races postponed due to COVID, the virtual Empire State Trail Challenge initiative will engage participants and provide a unique race experience throughout the spring season.
“Creating opportunities for healthy activity and lifestyles lies at the core of the Boilermaker mission,” Boilermaker Marketing Director Jordan Peters said. “So it was a natural fit to work in concert with New York State to provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to get outside and participate in a safe and healthy endeavor while highlighting the features of the Empire State Trail.”
The Boilermaker Empire State Trail Challenge is a four-month virtual race through July 31. Participants can register now and begin logging their miles walking, running or cycling on Friday, April 9. Participants would complete the mileage of at least one leg of the Empire State Trail: either the Hudson Valley Trail: 210 miles (New York City to Albany); the Erie Canalway Trail: 350 miles (Albany to Buffalo); or the Champlain Valley: 190 miles (Albany to Canada Border at Rouses Point). Participants can sign up as teams or individuals. For more information or to register, visit the website.
Although people are encouraged to the explore the actual Empire State Trail, participants can run, walk, or ride anywhere geographically, on local trails and running/bicycling routes near where they live to log and complete the challenge.
Each entrant would receive a t-shirt with their $25 entrance fee for a single leg of the trail. If interested, participants can register for additional legs at the time of registration or any time during the race period at $5 per leg. Challenge participants will enter their mileage on an online platform over the duration of the race window, reaching milestones tied to virtual progress along the Empire State Trail, and have the ability to share their experiences on social media.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Empire State Trail Challenge is one of the ways we are building back better at our state parks and trails. Our parks and trails have been safe and healthy outlets for everyone during the pandemic. Whether enjoying a fun nature break with friends and family, or truly testing their limits, the Empire State Trail Challenge offers participants of all ages and abilities a rewarding and socially distanced opportunity to enjoy New York’s outdoors.”
“The partnership with the Boilermaker is a great way to introduce the Empire State Trail to those across New York State and the nation who take part in the storied race every year,” Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers said. “The Empire State Trail is an ideal pathway for runners, bicyclists, and walkers to get outside and exercise, while learning about the iconic landscapes, local communities, and historic and cultural attractions along the 750-mile trail.
Director of the New York State Canal Corporation Brian U. Stratton said, “This exciting new partnership will offer thousands of New Yorkers and Boilermaker runners from around the country a chance to see the very best of our state, encouraging safe and responsible outdoor recreation along the lengths of the Empire State Trail. Governor Cuomo’s ongoing Reimagine the Canals program is based on forward-looking partnerships like this, which bring together communities and New Yorkers to lift up local economies and showcase the exceptional history of the Erie Canal, as well as the tremendous upgrades and new attractions being constructed along its banks.”
“The Empire State Trail is the newest jewel in New York State’s tourism crown and the Challenge is an opportunity to promote the trail to those looking for unique ways to experience the great outdoors,” New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “We hope that events like the Empire State Trail Challenge inspire more people to utilize the trail as a centerpiece of a getaway to the many the communities it touches across the state.”
The Empire State Trail website provides quick and easy access to trail information along the 750-mile route including segment descriptions and an on-line map identifying off-road trails connecting on-road sections, trail distances, designated parking areas, restrooms, and nearby amenities and attractions.
New York State has launched a new initiative to assist with the stewardship of trailheads across the state and educate trail users before they enter the backcountry. Introduced in the Governor’s 2021 State of the State address, the Adopt-a-Trailhead program is managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and gives the public the opportunity to support State-led efforts to care for state lands and educate fellow visitors on the value of responsible recreation.
“Over this last year, we have seen record numbers of New Yorkers and visitors utilizing our world-class trails and natural areas while seeking a break from the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As New York remains fully committed to making sustained investments in our natural resources and responsibly increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation on state lands, this new program offers an excellent volunteering opportunity for New Yorkers to help the State ensure our trails are ready for the growing number of hikers and visitors.”
In recent years, particularly in 2020 as New Yorkers eagerly pursued safe outdoor recreation experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State has seen an increase in the number of visitors to parks, lands, and trails. Outdoor recreation has been a crucial part of helping New Yorkers stay active, spend time with immediate household and family members, and reduce stress and anxiety. Consistent with the NY Forward phased reopening plan, New Yorkers are encouraged to recreate locally in their region (PDF). Each of the state’s 10 REDC regions have a wide variety of recreational opportunities available for the public to explore and enjoy. While this uptick provides an opportunity for more New Yorkers to explore the state’s scenic natural areas, many of these new users are inexperienced in back-country recreation, leading to mistakes that are potentially harmful to themselves and the environment.
Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteers will bolster ongoing efforts to eliminate litter problems and educate trail users about hiker preparedness, thus eliminating the amount of trash left at trailheads and encouraging proper disposal of human waste while in the woods. DEC land managers will be identifying trailheads that will benefit most from the new program. Volunteers and DEC will continue to encourage hikers to Hike Smart NY and follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace while hiking. LNT is a set of outdoor ethics developed to educate recreationists on how to best enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their impact. In addition, DEC continues to encourage visitors to the Adirondacks to seek out nearby alternative hikes that provide an experience similar to a High Peaks hike, including great scenic views, but with fewer people.
“New York’s public lands and trails are beloved by thousands of visitors in every corner of the state,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. ”The new Adopt-a-Trailhead program provides New Yorkers who are committed to caring for public lands with the opportunity to help DEC sustain and maintain these natural assets for future generations, as well as for their own enjoyment.”
Introduced in Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address, the Adopt-a-Trailhead program is an initiative to enhance opportunities to encourage outdoor recreation and empower volunteers to help maintain trailheads. Groups interested in volunteering for the program should submit an Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteer application to firstname.lastname@example.org (emailed applications are preferred) or via mail to: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Adopt-a-Trailhead Coordinator, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233.
After applications are approved, groups and individuals will be assigned to a trailhead in their area. Participation in the Adopt-a-Trailhead program will include:
A series of online training courses focused on LNT principles, visitor interaction, and visitor education;
Virtual meetings with DEC program staff to answer questions and share suggestions;
Spending time at assigned trailheads during weekend mornings, including holiday weekends and some Friday afternoons, depending on the location; and
Monthly reports highlighting statistics such as number of volunteers that participated and number of hours spent at the trailhead.
“Empowering trail users to enjoy natural areas safely and responsibly is exactly what is needed to help ensure these special places aren’t subject to misuse—accidental or otherwise,” New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Executive Director Joshua Howard said. “The Adopt a Trailhead program will allow more visitors to get the one-on-one guidance and education that we have seen to be so effective through our Trail Steward program on the Catskill summits. We are proud supporters of this initiative and the opportunity it presents to share Leave No Trace principles and best practices with the growing number of new and returning visitors to public lands.”
“ADK greatly supports this new statewide Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteer program,” Executive Director of Adirondack Mountain Club Michael Barrett said. “In-person educators at trailheads are a powerful way to both help visitors enjoy the outdoors responsibly and ignite a passion for taking care of public lands well into the future.”
New Yorkers getting outdoors should use common sense in planning outdoor activities because public facilities like restrooms or other amenities may not be available. Use the DECinfo Locator to find DEC-managed resources and visit DEC’s website for more information. DEC continues to remind outdoor enthusiasts to be SMART when recreating this year:
Socially distance at least six feet apart;
Mask – Wear one when you cannot maintain social distancing, especially in parking lots and along footpaths;
Avoid sharing gear when possible;
Respect your fellow anglers and the resource by providing space and practicing ethical angling; and
Take out what you bring in or place trash in receptacles.
The AAT program supports DEC’s comprehensive and ongoing efforts to sustainably manage increased visitation to public lands and will provide important information to guide future land management decisions. The program also complements recommendations included in the High Peaks Advisory Group’s final report on promoting sustainable recreation in the Adirondack Park. Comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, and tourism, in 2019 the HPAG was tasked with providing DEC with recommendations on how to address critical issues associated with increased public use of High Peaks resources in order to protect these areas in the short and long term, as well as for future generations. Visit the DEC website to read the report.
For more information on the AAT program, visit DEC’s website here.
The enormously popular, immensely thrilling, intensely patriotic Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park will return this Memorial Day weekend after a one-year absence. The outdoor show, sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, features a range of military and civilian aerial performers including the famed US Air Force Thunderbirds. This year’s show will be a ticketed event, with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place to ensure a safe return of the patriotic Long Island beachfront tradition.
In addition to the headlining United States Air Force Thunderbirds, this year’s show features the United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog), United States Army Golden Knights U.S. Army parachute team, and United States Coast Guard Search and Rescue team, as well as many other world-class civilian performers. The Bethpage Air Show will take place Friday, May 28, (Practice show); Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, 2021 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day.
Visitors must purchase a ticket in advance to park at Jones Beach during the show. Details on purchasing a ticket will be announced at a later date. Parking capacity will be reduced by 50 percent, and only those with a ticket will be allowed to enter. State Parks will have additional staff on hand to enforce all health and safety requirements, including face covering requirements and social distancing. State Park Police will be supplemented by assistance from New York State Police. Individuals with appointments at the Jones Beach Covid-19 testing or vaccine sites will not be impacted, and will be able to enter through dedicated traffic lanes.
“As we continue to see progress in our fight against COVID and cautiously reopen our state, we can look forward to enjoying more and more outdoor adventures this summer – including the annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “With safety measures in place, New Yorkers and visitors can get back to enjoying all that Jones Beach and Long Island State Parks have to offer, and this annual festival is a great way to get outdoors and support the regional Long Island economy.”
The Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, one of the most popular events on Long Island, was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Its return this year brings back a Memorial Day weekend tradition that celebrates the beginning of summer at Long Island’s beaches, and honors military families and those who serve our country.
“We are thrilled the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach in 2021 is back!” Bethpage Federal Credit Union CEO Wayne Grosse said. “After a challenging year, Bethpage is proud to work with State Parks to ensure air show fans of all ages can enjoy a beautiful day at the beach and honor our nation’s military this Memorial Day weekend. While this year’s show will look a little different with reduced capacity, we are glad New Yorker’s will still be able to enjoy the fun, high-energy Air Show that all the fans have come to expect.”
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518-474-0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Eleven projects preserving New York State’s history, ranging from an eighteenth-century Dutch barn rehabilitation to an artist installation memorializing black lives at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, have received 2020 State Historic Preservation Awards.
Created in 1980, the State Historic Preservation Awards are awarded by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation each year to honor excellence in the protection and revitalization of historic and cultural resources. The Governor also signed legislation in 2013 to bolster state use of rehabilitation tax credits, which have spurred billions of dollars in completed investments of historic commercial properties and tens of millions in owner-occupied historic homes.
“The 2020 New York State Historic Preservation Awards help bolster efforts to keep New York’s storied history protected and accessible to all,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”These historic projects demonstrate the diversity of lived New York experiences since our state’s founding. New York is thankful to the dedicated stewards of each site, who provide invaluable support by devoting countless hours to the protection of historic sites for all to learn from and enjoy.”
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The diversity of the projects being recognized demonstrates that preservation begins with passionate local individuals expanding their advocacy into productive partnerships. We are proud to be one of those partners and congratulate all of the individuals and groups for their extraordinary efforts to preserve these historic places.”
This year’s 2020 State Historic Preservation Awards recipients are:
Binghamton Carnegie Library, Broome County
Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation
The former Carnegie Library in downtown Binghamton was transformed into SUNY Broome’s Culinary and Events Center serving the school’s hospitality programs. The $21.5 million dollar rehabilitation project successfully made use to commercial tax credits to revitalize the historic building into a state-of-the art education and event facility.
Cropsey Barn, New City, Rockland County
Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation & Conservation
The Cropsey family has made an extraordinary commitment in the rehabilitation and long-term use of a New York State and National Register listed property. In fear of losing an agricultural site to sprawl, the family transferred ownership of their eighteenth-century barn and land to the county with a restrictive covenant ensuring its agricultural future. Working with a group of traditional trades craftspeople and building conservators, the barn had been fully restored and is now used by the local County Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) association for planting and harvesting organically grown products.
Holley Gardens, Village of Holley, Orleans County
Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation
Constructed between 1930 and 1931, the former Holley High had been vacant since 1975. In 2020, Home Leasing and Edgemere Development completed a dramatic rehabilitation of the building that has created 41 affordable housing units for seniors and new office and meeting space for the village government. The developers utilized both the state Historic Tax Credit and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programs to assist with the adaptive reuse.
Dr. Ferguson’s House, Glens Falls, Warren County
Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation
When Dr. Ferguson’s House became threatened with demolition, local preservationists Darren & Lisa Tracy stepped in to rescue it. With careful planning and cooperation, the Tracys rehabilitated the 1870 National Register-listed building using Federal & State Historic Tax Credits for use as an apartment building, thereby saving an important community treasure.
Onderdonck-Tallman-Budke House, Clarkstown, Rockland County
Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation
Constructed between the 1790s and 1870s, and last occupied in the 1930s, the Onderdonck-Tallman-Budke House had fallen into disrepair. With the help of town funds, the historic sandstone Dutch house was painstakingly restored and serves as an educational resource in Clarkstown’s Germonds Park.
Fire Watchtower at Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, New York City
Excellence in Historic Structure Rehabilitation
Known to many as the Harlem Fire Watchtower, the 1856 cast iron structure at Marcus Garvey Park is a community landmark owned by the City of New York. Spurred by citizen advocacy, a public-private partnership was established to restore Watchtower, which resulted in sizable contributions from the New York City Council, Mayor, and Borough President’s offices. The resulting rehabilitation preserves an enduring symbol of Harlem’s identity and historic legacy.
Carnegie Libraries of New York City
Excellence in Historic Documentation
What began in 2009 as a project by the Historic Districts Council to survey Carnegie Libraries in New York City, culminated in the creation of a Multiple Property Documentation Form that was approved by the National Park Service in September 2020. Establishing the significance of these resources facilitates future listings for these beloved community buildings.
Mary E. Bell House, Center Moriches, Long Island
Excellence in Organizational Achievement
The restoration and historic registers listing of the Mary E. Bell House preserves a history of black landownership on Long Island during the nineteenth century and documents the central role of women within the Moriches African American community. Constructed in 1872, the home was occupied by the Smith and Bell families for more than 100 years. Owner Mary Bell rose to prominence in the community for her association with the Moriches AME Zion Church. By 2011, the house had fallen into disrepair. The town of Brookhaven acquired the property and a formal agreement with the Ketcham Inn Foundation was entered to restore the building, which now operates as historic site.
Village of Heuvelton, St. Lawrence County
Excellence in Archeology Stewardship
The Village of Heuvelton unexpectedly discovered several historic burials of the former village “old cemetery” during a water tank and sewer rehabilitation project. Through careful research and coordination with agencies involved, the village successfully and sensitively navigated the challenges of excavating the human remains for further study and re-interment.
Memorial Field for Black Lives, John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Essex County
Excellence in Historic Site Interpretation and Public Engagement
Working with the not-for-profit group John Brown Lives!, Artist Karen Davidson Seward created the Memorial Field for Black Lives as a space to acknowledge the struggle for equality in America in response to the brutal murders of unarmed Black Americans and widespread protests this summer. The exhibit debuted at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, the home and final resting place of an abolitionist who gave his life to end slavery.
Excellence in Historic Preservation Organizational Achievement
2020 was unprecedented in its impacts to communities across New York State. The state’s preservation organizations rose to the challenge of programming during a global pandemic and tumultuous political year. Their ingenuity, resilience, and creativity proved that preservation is imperative to quality of life and will be essential in navigating the path to economic recovery.
New York’s Division for Historic Preservation helps communities identify, evaluate, preserve and revitalize their historic, archeological, and cultural resources. The Division works with governments, the public, and educational and not-for-profit organizations to raise historic preservation awareness, to instill in New Yorkers a sense of pride in the state’s unique history and to encourage heritage tourism and community revitalization.
Here is what well may be the first bike touring company to come out with a guided, inn-to-inn trip along the recently completed Empire State Trail in New York State: Discovery Bicycle Tours’ has introduced a six-day itinerary that rides from the very tip of Manhattan, to Albany.
The six-day trip rides 200 miles of the newly completed Empire State Trail, which actually extends 750 miles from Manhattan to Canada and from Buffalo to Albany.
The Discovery Bicycle Tour goes through a wide variety of landscapes in New York State. Cycle passed the Freedom Tower and Manhattan skyscrapers, through forests, along lakes and rivers, with a triumphant finish in Albany, the state capital. You can be one of the first to enjoy this full section of the newly finished Empire State Trail, which allows cyclists to traverse the state almost entirely on dedicated hike/bike paths and routes.
Cycle up the west side of Manhattan Island on the Hudson River Greenway and see the waterfront and famous buildings. Spin along the Hudson with views of the towering cliffs known as the Palisades, into historic villages and through forests and farmland. Then leave the bustle of suburbia behind as you enter rural lands and farm country.
Many miles are on dedicated rail-trail. And the riding is fairly flat with gentle hills. Look for vistas of the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains as you follow the gorgeous Hudson River Valley — favorite subject of Romantic landscape painters in the mid-1800s. As a bonus, you cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge, and the iconic Rosendale Trestle.
Visit the villages of Rhinebeck, Hudson and Mahopac and the town of New Paltz — with chances to enjoy fascinating history, architecture and stunning scenery.
You can take advantage of optional leader-led segments through the urban areas of New York City and the outskirts of Albany — or ride them on your own. At the finish, you can explore Albany itself or continue your travels home by air or train from there. Or let us give you a lift back to your car at the start.
Start with a Sunday morning spin up the west side of Manhattan — with thrilling views on both sides of the Hudson River. You can choose to ride the city stretches with the leader or on your own.
Then continue north to visit historic villages on newly paved bike paths and quiet roads. Many miles are on dedicated rail-trail. And the riding is fairly flat with gentle hills.Look for vistas of the Catskill and Shawangunk mountains as you follow the gorgeous Hudson River Valley — favorite subject of Romantic landscape painters in the mid-1800s. As a bonus, you cycle across the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.
Rated Level 1 (easier), daily cycling mileage ranges from 28 to 47 miles.
Accommodations are in casual and historic inns and a stylish boutique bed-and-breakfast.
The tour includes: 5 nights’ lodging, 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners (you are on your own for 1 dinner in Rhinebeck), cycling routes with detailed maps and/or app-based navigation for those interested, plus bicycle, helmet, tour guides and van support, free week-long parking for guest cars in Hawthorne, NY. Free transfer on final day to either the Rensselaer Train Station (Albany) or take the van transit back to Hawthorne.
New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Families across the state can register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program, a partnership between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“In these challenging times, getting out into nature has been a major outlet for safe and healthy recreation for New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Whether you’re taking a self-guided hike at a favorite park or discovering a new local trail this holiday season, New Yorkers have unparalleled options and destinations to embrace the outdoors this winter and bring in the New Year while remaining COVID safe and COVID smart.”
With the Empire State Trail near completion, residents along the 750-mile route – the longest multi-use state trail in the nation- can enjoy the great outdoors while supporting tourism and community revitalization across the state. Information about the trail, including an interactive map detailing the route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website.
Walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles and are being offered at more than 60 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.
A list of New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements and additional information can be found online at parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov. Interested participants are encouraged to check the details of their preferred host site and pre-register where required.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, there will be no large group hikes this year. The event options for hikes range from self-guided treks to staff- or volunteer-led hikes with a limited number of participants. All hikes are subject to regional COVID-19 limitations. Masks or face-coverings are mandatory, and capacity restrictions may limit participation so have some alternate locations in mind. Hikes will span Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing participants the time and space to social distance while still enjoying nature’s winter wonders.
Here is a list of First Day Hikes by region, along with contact information:
Western New York
Allegany State Park- Red House; 716.354.9101 x.232
DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050
Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154
Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway Snowmobile Ride, Avon; 585.964.3614
Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462
Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 716.549.1050
Letchworth State Park, Castile; 585.493.3680
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
Plumbottom State Forest, Amity; 585.415.1521
Reinstein Environmental Education Center, Depew; 716.683.5959
Finger Lakes & Central New York
Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718
Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.535.4511
Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251
Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377
Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333
“First Day Hikes have grown into a popular tradition for many New Yorkers and we look forward to welcoming families and friends out on the trail at many of our parks and historic sites,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “While this year’s program may look a little different from previous events, exploring the outdoors is still the perfect way to enjoy the winter landscapes, unwind with loved ones and kick off the coming year.”
“One unexpected, yet welcome result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in the number of New Yorkers heading outdoors to explore world-class recreational opportunities close to home,” State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “As we get ready to turn the page on 2020 and enter the New Year, DEC and our partners at State Parks are encouraging visitors to keep discovering New York’s abundant lands and parks and to do so safely and responsibly by observing social distancing and other guidelines to ensure an enjoyable and healthy experience for everyone.”
“This year gave New Yorkers a new opportunity to discover the wonders and adventures that await them just outside their doors,” I Love New York Executive Director Ross Levi said. “New York State is not just an amazing destination for visitors; it is a world-class getaway in our own backyard. First Day Hikes and the new year will offer New Yorkers another chance to find what they love here in our own amazing state.”
Get Outside Safely, Responsibly, and Locally
New York State’s PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL campaign encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect for all outdoor adventurers, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Wear a mask, even when visiting the outdoors. For more information, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 77 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com
For a COVID getaway, which we just did over Labor Day, enjoy fall foliage colors and no quarantining required (if you live in the Northeast) in New York State’s Adirondacks State Park.
While in North Creek (Gore Mt ski area), visit and/or take a class with artist-in-residence glassblower extraordinaire, Greg Tomb — last day for classes this season is September 23, 2020.
In cooperation with North Creek’s Tannery Pond Center, Tomb has made hundreds of colorful, glass-blown pumpkins that will be sold at the “Glass Pumpkin Patch” weekend, September 25-27, 2020, from 10am – 6pm daily. Each pumpkin has been hand-blown by Tomb, giving them their unique and distinctive sizes and designs (starting price of $35). A sizable percentage of all sales goes towards the arts and operations of North Creek’s Tannery Pond Center, North Creek, NY.