A new study conducted by the Political Economy Research
Institute of the University of Massachusetts found that the New York State Park
System carries a benefit-to-cost ratio of more than five to one. The study concentrated on the public
spending on parks for general operations and money spent by visitors in parks
and the surrounding areas because these are the two most important ways the
State park system impacts New York’s economy.
These beautiful parks of New York had 55.7 million visitors
last year. Not only do the parks
generate $1.9 billion in sales for private businesses in the area surrounding
the parks every year, they also help to generate about 20,000 jobs. Most of the revenue generated by the
park brings money into the communities that surround these parks. In addition to these economic benefits, the
parks also protects amazing ecosystems, and provides recreational hiking
trails, campsites, swimming pools, beaches, golf courses and so much more.
After decades of struggling with funding, this research is
going to make a great argument for investing more funding for the state
parks. “Additional capital funding this year is critical if OPRHP
is to continue the revitalization of our State Parks, which are more important
than ever to New Yorkers, especially families, as people stick closer to home
for recreation, vacations, and respite,” says Robin Dropkin, Executive Director
of Parks & Trails New York.
Additionally, “OPRHP has more than $100 million worth of
shovel-ready revitalization projects ready to go, including health and safety
projects such as dam and sewage system repair, road construction and
maintenance, facility refurbishment, and habitat restoration. Unfortunately,
there is no federal stimulus money for state parks. Therefore we call on the state to reinvest in our state
parks, put money into our communities, put New Yorkers to work, and restore our
parks for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
For more information and the full report, check out the
Parks & Trails New York website at www.ptny.org. There is also a great Flicker site
linked from the Parks & Trails web site with beautiful pictures of the
hiking trails and bike paths.