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Parks Slated to Shutter
February 19th, 2010

This just in from our Parks Topic Page Writer Anne Schwartz:

Governor David Patersons $11 million cut from the state parks operating budget would close parks for the first time in the systems 125-year history. Today, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation released a list of 56 parks and historic sites recommended for closure as well as 24 locations where service would be reduced.

Among the parks that would be affected in the New York City area are Riverbank State Park in Harlem, where the outdoor swimming pool would be closed and operating hours reduced, and popular destinations in Long Island and Westchester.

In addition to the loss of recreational outlets for families squeezed by the recession, closing parks would actually result in a net financial loss for the state, according to one study.

State parks and historic sites generate $1.9 billion annually in economic activity statewide and 20,000 non-park jobs statewide, according to a 2009 study by the Political Economy Research Group. For every dollar the state spends on parks, it gets back $5 dollars in economic activity.

Closing parks would also erase decades of state investment, leaving buildings, bathrooms, trails, sports facilities and natural areas vulnerable to neglect and vandalism. Repairing the damage could be far more costly than keeping parks open. Once a park is closed, they could remain shuttered for years.

It makes more sense to invest in the parks and make them part of the plan to revitalize our economy, as the government did during the Great Depression.

By on February 19, 2010, 3:16 pm
In category: Albany,Environment,Gotham City,nextNY,Parks | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Parks Slated to Shutter”

  1. Robin White Says:
    February 19th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I completely agree. This is a terrible way to save money.

  2. KathleenVorwick Says:
    February 20th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    This is another example of false economy, when public benefit should be paramount.

    Parks are for all the people, no matter their income level.

    Are we do go back to private parks for the wealthy only.

    Where do our children run and play?

    Plus it makes no economic sense, as outlined in this fine article.

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