STILLWATER — The Great American Outdoors Act, signed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, includes $19 million in funding to address deferred maintenance projects at the Saratoga National Historic Park, the state’s U.S. senators said.
The money will come from a new fund — $1.9 billion a year over five years — intended to address maintenance backlogs across the national park system.
The 3,400-acre Saratoga National Historic Park preserves and interprets the site on the west side of the Hudson River in Stillwater where the Battles of Saratoga — the battles widely viewed as having turned the tide in the American Revolution — were fought in the fall of 1777. It has been a national historic park since 1938.
Park Superintendent Amy Bracewell said the projects the money will be used for haven’t been determined yet, adding that Congress and the National Park Service will make those decisions before passing them down to the individual parks.
Like national parks across the country, Saratoga has seen a dramatic increase in the number of visitors. The National Park Service estimates 145,000 people visited in 2019, up from 90,000 a decade earlier.
The funding for the Saratoga Battlefield and other federal park properties in New York state was announced in a joint statement from Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
“New York is home to many of the nation’s breathtaking natural treasures and historic landmarks, which house hundreds of acres of parks, generate billions in economic activity, and create and support over 300,000 jobs,” Schumer said. “This monumental legislation will ensure that generations to come can continue to enjoy the natural beatufy and history of New York.”
The Saratoga National Historical Park, which also includes the Gen. Phillip Schuyler Mansion, Victory Monument and the lands where British troops surrendered in and around Schuylerville, is the only federal park in the immediate Capital Region.
While the park’s visitor center, the Schuyler House, and the Saratoga Victory Monument are all currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the park is staffed and grounds are open for recreational use from sunrise to sunset. The park tour road is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., however, its use is currently restricted to vehicles.
There are other federal historic sites within a two-hour drive of the Capital Region. The legislation includes $2.8 million for the President Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, $9.4 million for the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, $6.2 million for the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, and $14.4 million for the Vanderbilt Home Historic Site, all three of which are in Hyde Park.