Closing of 41 state parks, 14 historic sites begins today

New York state is set to close 55 parks and historic sites as the budget crisis continues.

New York state is set to close 55 parks and historic sites as the budget crisis continues.

Officials at the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation say the agency today will start shutting down or keeping closed 41 parks and 14 historic sites across New York.

Parks officials say parking lot gates and restrooms are being locked, and anyone venturing onto the properties will be asked to leave.

The closures include state-run beaches on Long Island, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and several historic sites dating back to the Revolutionary War.

In this region, closed parks and sites include Thacher Park, Johnson Hall in Johnstown, Schoharie Crossing in Fort Hunter, the Schuyler Mansion Historic Site in Albany, Max V. Shaul State Park in Schoharie County, John Brown Farm Historic Site in Essex County and three sites in Rensselaer County: Bennington Battlefield State Park, Hudson River Islands State Park and Schodack Island State Park.

Failure to get the $5 million in Environmental Protection Fund money will result in closure or reductions at several other parks, including closing the Victoria Pool at Saratoga Spa State Park and closing Peebles Island State Park in Saratoga County; Grafton Lakes, Cherry Plain State Park and Crailo State Historic Site in Rensselaer County; Minekill State Park in Schoharie County and Crown Point State Historic Site in Essex County.

The Legislature has voted to restore $11.3 million in parks funding cut from Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal. But lawmakers and Paterson have yet to agree on a budget, which is now 47 days late.

For more information, go to the state parks Web site by clicking HERE.

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