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Laurel Hill State Park, PA

NY - $2.5M announced to improve NY State Park playgrounds

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $2.5 million in funding to improve 13 playgrounds at State Parks across the state.

The park improvements are part of Governor Cuomo’s goal to modernize 100 State Park playgrounds by 2020. The governor’s office says the playgrounds will have modern, code-compliant equipment and distinct areas for young and older age groups. Site improvements include shade tree or canopies, seating, water fountains, and trail/walkway connections to the rest of the park. “Playgrounds are important gateways to nature for many children that can lead to a life-long appreciation of New York’s majestic natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities at our great state parks,” Governor Cuomo said. The State Parks include: Central New York Cayuga Lake State Park – replace outdated wood play equipment at the park’s lakefront with distinct playground equipment for younger and older children, offering more innovative play opportunities for children enjoying the swim and picnic areas at the park. Finger Lakes Letchworth State Park – replace and expand three outdated playgrounds in the park’s Parade Grounds, Lower Falls and Tea Table Areas. Western New York Whirlpool State Park – expand the existing playground area in this popular community-oriented park. DeVeaux Woods State Park – replace the existing outdated playground near the picnic shelter and parking area with a new playground with two equipment areas; one for ages 2-5 and one for ages 5-12 to complement the park’s newly completed overlook and spectacular views. Reservoir State Park – establish a fitness equipment circuit just east of the tennis court to complement the athletic-themed park that includes softball diamonds, courts for multiple sports, skating rink, driving range and a 1.2 mile walking/jogging trail. Capital Region Grafton Lakes State Park – expand and enhance the existing playground adjacent to the new Welcome Center, featuring nature-based play elements and a miniature fire tower.

Thacher State Park – construct a new playground for older children to be located adjacent to the new Visitor Center, featuring an embankment slide, climbing wall on building, a crawl tunnel and a rocks and ropes area. All elements are intended to blend in with the existing features of the park. Lake Taghkanic State Park – expand the existing playground at the south end of the beach parking lot, as well as add a pathway to improve pedestrian connections from the beach, new accessible parking spots nearby and more shade at the playground. Mid-Hudson Region James Baird State Park – replace the existing outdated playground with play equipment and interpretive panels highlighting the species of turtles of the Hudson Valley and New York State. Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park – construct a new playground at Parking Lot 6, one of the most popular picnic areas in the park. North Country Eel Weir State Park – replace outdated playground equipment next to the existing pavilion with a new playground that will include climbing structures, slides, spring toys and swings. The project will include a new concrete walkway with benches around the play area. The governor’s office says construction will take place following the peak summer season. The playgrounds are expected to be ready for use next summer.

Published: September 12, 2016, 1:15 pm Updated: September 12, 2016, 4:47 pm

By Joe Gullo