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Around Saratoga

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Parks commissioner, chairwoman get awards

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Audubon New York and the Audubon Council of New York State honored Commissioner Rose Harvey of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and Lucy Waletzky, chairwoman of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, as the 2013 recipients of the William Hoyt Environmental Excellence Awards.

The awards are in recognition of Harvey’s and Waletzky’s outstanding commitment revitalizing New York’s state parks system.

The awards, which are named in honor of the popular environmental advocate who died in 1992 while serving in the state Assembly, were presented at the 2013 spring Audubon Assembly on March 23 at the Gideon Putnam Resort in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

“Commissioner Harvey and chairwoman Waletzky are a dynamic duo for New York’s state parks, and we are thrilled to present these two deserving and dedicated conservationists with the 2013 William Hoyt Environmental Excellence Awards,” said Albert E. Caccese, executive director of Audubon New York. “We always knew Audubon had strong connections to state parks, but the success of the New York Work program and our Audubon in the Parks partnership can only be attributed to the leadership, passion and support of these two remarkable individuals,” Caccese said in a statement.

Commissioner Harvey and chairwoman Waletzky have both been advocates for New York’s state parks, helping to secure millions in funding through the New York Works program to upgrade the aging infrastructure and natural resources at parks statewide. They both have also been instrumental in fostering the Audubon in the Parks initiative, a model public-private partnership between Audubon and OPRHP to enhance bird habitat and natural resources found at our state parks.

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