Park and Trail Partnership Program grants awarded

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Parks & Trails New York (PTNY) and the NYS Office of Parks, Preservation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), with support from Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, are pleased to announce the latest round of NYS Park and Trail Partnership Program grant awardees. This program is open to Friends organizations that support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites and is administered by PTNY, in partnership with OPRHP.

Friends organizations will receive $450,000 in Park and Trail Partnership Program grants during each round. The grants, funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by over $200,000 in private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities at state parks and historic sites across New York.

Read the official press release announcing the 2017-2018 awardees.


2017-2018 Awardees by Region

Capital Region - total awarded: $27,580

Friends of Clermont

$4,000 to create a planned giving program to raise funds to provide more programs, including marketing materials, a planned giving and named endowment policy, and training for the board of trustees.

Friends of Thacher Park

$4,080 to design and procure promotional materials to promote the Friends group and build capacity through outreach.

The Friends of U.S. Grant Cottage

$19,500 to provide critical administrative support and focus on acquiring and maintaining sustainable income sources for the organization.


Central Region - total awarded: $28,900

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

$20,400 to create a new education program entitled “The Story of the Water STEM Program: Erie Canal Connections.” The program will allow the museum to research water systems related to the Erie Canal and create STEM educational programming. Additional components of the new STEM program will be a summer STEM camp, and a "Story of the Water" series of talks. The new education program will enable visitors to explore how humans impact the canal water system today.

Council of Park Friends

$8,500 to make many needed updates to the Clark Reservation State Park Nature Center, specifically the geology exhibit, which explains the geologic formation comprising the main attraction at the park. Additional updates include the wildlife and flora exhibits, replacing the book collection, and purchasing new tables and display cases.


Finger Lakes - total awarded: $96,958

Friends of Ganondagan

$50,000 to fund the restoration and replacement of the Seneca Bark Longhouse roof using new, “flexbark/Elm Bark” roofing panels. The exiting roof is leaking and the new roof is necessary and critical to ensure the viability of the Seneca Bark Longhouse structure, and safety of the artifacts, reproductions, and interpretive materials housed within.

Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park

$15,740 to enhance the self-guided interpretive tour to educate visitors about the role Hamlin Beach State Park CCC/POW Camp played during the Depression and World War II. The enhancements will include a stone dust path to follow the interpretive sign tour, five new interpretive signs, and new locator signs within the park directing patrons to the CCC/POW site.

Friends of Letchworth State Park

$12,530 to fund a planning document along with two architectural project reports that will allow the Friends group to more effectively manage and fund projects that will move forward the ongoing effort to preserve the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) legacy in Letchworth State Park.

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park

$18,688 for the restoration of the Vinery Greenhouse. The scope of the restoration project includes repairs to masonry, skeletal framework, sashes, roof, glass and gutters.


Long Island - total awarded: $20,000

The Caumsett Foundation, Inc.

$20,000 to fund the construction of a courtyard between two classrooms to enhance the education complex at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve. It will provide additional public space if the classrooms are occupied for lectures, break-out sessions and lunch breaks. It will be the primary space for other groups to meet and will complement the overall design between the classrooms, restrooms and Park offices, all of which are new spaces.


Mid-Hudson - total awarded: $122,938

Basha Kill Area Association

$7,792 will fund professional reformatting and printing of 500 copies of a revised book (the third edition) entitled “A Birding Guide to Sullivan County New York.” This project will generate more interest in this valuable, state-owned natural resource by specifically educating visitors about the 250+ bird species who inhabit this wetland during the year.

Friends of Mills Mansion

$48,000 to fund the purchase of historically-accurate, custom-made fabric, trim, and as well as decorative trim, tie-backs and hanging hardware needed to reproduce the historic draperies in Staatsburgh's formal dining room. These will replace the existing drapes that have been hanging for over 100 years and are in very poor condition.

Friends of The Old Croton Aqueduct

$27,200 to cover the cost of a coordinator to support the needs of the recently opened Keeper’s House Education and Visitor Center. The coordinator will develop and manage the volunteer docent program, including recruiting new volunteers to assist with all the activities at the Center and improve the visitor’s experience.

The Little Stony Point Citizens Association, Inc.

$39,946 to fund a solar installation on the Volunteer Center to power activities there, which will increase volunteer presence at Little Stony Point. A portion of the energy generated will be stored in a mobile battery, which will be used to support volunteer activities throughout the Park. Additionally, installing a simple "green" incinerating toilet at the Center will provide better amenities for visitors.


Mohawk Valley - total awarded: $9,905

Friends of Johnson Hall

$9,905 for a historic floor cloth, a “painted carpet” for the Front Hallway of Johnson Hall State Historic Site. This reproduction floor cloth will help protect the original wooden floor from heavy wear by visitors, and will complete the restoration of the decorative finishes on the first floor of this site. Funds will also be used to produce a detailed color booklet, postcards and a website update to summarize all the restorations projects that have been competed or are underway.


New York City - total awarded: $15,750

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

$15,750 to redesign and install clear, direct, and inviting entrance signage that incorporates messaging of the Park’s rules in the park, which are unique due to the park’s entirely engineered environment.


North Country - total awarded: $76,703

Azure Mountain Friends

$7,225 to initiate a publicity campaign and fund necessary repairs. The publicity campaign will improve communications to the public about the work of the Azure Mountain Friends, the history of the tower, expand interest, and ultimately increase the number of volunteers and supporters. Most importantly, the increased exposure and publicity will help to insure the continuation of educational programs.

Friends of the Nature Center

$50,000 to create a new forest exhibit that will be located at the entrance of the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center. This exhibit will include interactive graphics that explain what each part of the tree does. This modern, state of the art exhibit will draw the attention of new visitors, while also giving returning visitors a reason to return and explore the new elements.

Winona Forest Recreation Association

$19,082 for the rehabilitation of multi-use trails in the Winona State Forest, designed specifically to increase public access and significantly enhancing users' experience. This rehabilitation of the trails will attract new users, increase tourism dollars, and grow the local economy.


Western New York - total awarded: $51,611

Friends of Allegany State Park

$4,250 for the construction of approximately two miles of new, narrow tread trail, as part of the park’s master plan. Funds will cover the materials for the trail, new signage, and informational kiosks and maps. The trail will be created in collaboration with a mountain biking group to attract bikers, a new user group, to the park.

Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve

$47,411 to hire a Development Manager to cultivate a sustainable donor base and expand the organization’s funding sources in the areas of corporate giving, foundation giving, and planned giving. These actions will increase the long-term viability of Friends of Reinstein Woods, and foster improvements to the educational and stewardship programs supported by Reinstein Woods.


2016-2017 Awardees by Region

Central New York – total awarded: $34,231

​Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

$5,798 to hire an Education/Visitor Experience Intern to study, document, research and host tours, produce a general Chittenango Landing tour, and create materials and videos for PR and museum education.

Friends of Chenango Valley State Park

$11,020 to purchase 14 pairs of kids’snowshoes for winter activity programs and build a new backstop and fencing for a Field of Dreams.

Friends of Fort Ontario, Inc

$1,986 to create an indoor and outdoor Membership and Volunteer Recruitment Events booth.

Friends of Lorenzo

$15,427 to develop an institutional plan that will effectively and strategically support the organizational mission over the next 3-5 years.


Finger Lakes – total awarded: $37,364

Friends of Ganondagan

$19,239 to hire a program assistant to develop interpretive programming and events that feature Iroquois White Corn from an agricultural, traditional and food perspective.

Friends of Greater Two Rivers State Park

$7,500 to assist with the administrative and legal fees needed to secure 501(c)(3) status, along with the costs associated with completing a consultant-facilitated organizational assessment and resulting plan.

Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park

$10,625 to restore and paint the exterior of the Old Mill, including the removal of paint, patching and light carpentry repair, priming and painting, and restoring wooden windows.


Genesee – total awarded: $41,310

Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, Inc

$41,310 to develop a new responsive website including an interactive Genesee Valley Greenway map with social media integration, and rack cards to help promote the Greenway and new website.


Long Island – total awarded: $67,535

Friends of Connetquot, Inc.

$17,535 to develop new educational programs for the Mill Museum, videos, and brochures to complement the completion of the Nicoll Grist Mill restoration.

The Caumsett Foundation, Inc.

$25,000 to adapt the former carpenter's shop for use as two environmental/education classrooms.

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association

$25,000 to modernize exhibit space by adding Walt Whitman themes, including Whitman’s formative years, gender equality, and Paumanok ecology, plus emphasize Whitman as the Poet of Democracy and add newly acquired artifacts.


New York City – total awarded: $20,000

Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park

$20,000 to refresh the signage system throughout Gantry Plaza State Park in accordance with the agency's updated signage guidelines and to give the park's 20 year old signage a fresh and unified look.


Niagara – total awarded: $25,000

Friends of Knox Farm State Park

$25,000 to replace the original slate roof of the 100 year old historic Main House at Knox Farm State Park, which is now used as an event center for weddings, public events and fundraising activities.


Saratoga/Capital – total awarded: $78,000

Friends of Schuyler Mansion

$30,000 for two reproduction Brussels carpets to be woven for two very significant rooms within Schuyler Mansion -- the Best parlor, in which Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler were married, and the Dining Room, at which table dignitaries such as Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and George Washington were entertained.

John Brown Lives!

$48,000 to hire the organization’s first paid employee for a part-time position whose duties will encompass a range of administrative and clerical functions aimed at shoring up the foundation of the organization and helping cultivate sustainable, widespread and dedicated public and private support for John Brown Farm State Historic Site.


Taconic – total awarded: $107,085

Friends of Philipse Manor Hall

$14,875 to purchase audio-visual equipment and hire consultants for an oral history project at Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site. The collected interviews will expand the oral histories on view as part of the current Immigration Exhibit as well as supplement future exhibits and programs with first-person narratives to promote the understanding of history in a human context.

Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, Inc.

$29,710 to hire a part-time staff member to increase organization's capacity to reach out and increase membership and volunteer base in Columbia County.

The Little Stony Point Citizens Association, Inc.

$50,000 to replace an existing storage shed and create new space to support volunteer activities at Little Stony Point State Park. The accessory structure will provide space for meetings, event planning and support, equipment, materials, and volunteer amenities plus a covered porch for hikers.

Walkway Over the Hudson

$12,500 to revise and improve organization’s successful Walkway LOOP map produced in 2009 to account for new important trail connections and features, and to place a spotlight on the exciting new multi-modal trails that are proposed for the Mid-Hudson Valley Region.


Thousand Islands – total awarded: $39,475

Friends of the Nature Center

$39,475 to build two new state of the art exhibits that will be located at the entrance of the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center. One exhibit will be dedicated to Minna Anthony Common’s contribution to the nature center and the second exhibit will be an interactive trail map that details the 13 trails located at the Nature Center.


Capital Region – total awarded: $33,389

Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park

$5,609 to install a series of kiosks along the route to the newly rehabilitated Dickinson Hill Fire Tower Historic Site, providing historical and cultural information on the area to the general public


2015-2016 Awardees by Region

Friends of Schodack Island State Park

$3,400 to install two kiosks, one in each loop of the new park campground, and promotional materials to provide information to campers about the Friends group, the park, and the surrounding community

The Olana Partnership

$24,380 to develop interpretive materials that will support new guided tours of the landscape at Olana State Historic Site as part of the 50th anniversary of Olana being saved from destruction.


Central New York – total awarded: $54,230

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum

$45,625 to upgrade the position of Executive Director from part-time to full-time to better serve the educational needs of the area and boost tourism

Friends of Fort Ontario

$8,605 to provide wireless internet access at Fort Ontario State Historic Site for the Friends and the public and to create a secure website and an online museum shop


Finger Lakes – total awarded: $110,869

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park

$75,000 to hire a full-time Manager of Corporate Fundraising and Major Gifts who will develop and execute a five-year capital improvement plan

Friends of Hamlin Beach State Park:

$14,889 to install interpretive signs for a self-guided walking tour of the former Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War site on park grounds, and signs attributing the Friends for its work protecting the historic CCC/POW camp and in the care of bluebird and purple martin houses within the park

Friends of Letchworth State Park

$20,980 for materials and training that will enable increased volunteer recruitment and engagement to better steward the park and its trails.


Long Island – total awarded: $27,000

The Caumsett Foundation, Inc.

$27,000 to develop and implement a plan for programming in the Hay Barn and adjacent buildings that will generate revenue the Friends can use to maintain these historical buildings


Mid-Hudson Region – total awarded: $103,725

Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct

$47,475 to design and equip a Visitor and Education Center (the site’s first) within the Keeper’s House, a National Historic Landmark that had previously been empty and unused

Friends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Inc.

$35,000 to hire fundraising and social media specialists to raise the funds needed to refurbish the roads around Swan Lake (Brothers’ Path)

Walkway Over the Hudson

$21,250 to increase the organization’s capacity to attract and host tour groups through training, outreach, and the development of site-specific, multi-lingual materials


New York City – total awarded: $45,392

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, Inc.

$33,392 to expand and implement print and digital advertising programs and new marketing initiatives to establish Four Freedoms State Park as a premier NYC destination

Friends of Gantry Plaza State Park

$12,000 to replace damaged Adirondack chairs, cast iron tree grates, and broken light fixtures, and for a postcard campaign to the surrounding neighborhood to publicize these improvements and Friends-led volunteer events


North Country – total awarded: $11,647

Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site

$7,212 to install a monument that will promote visitation to the site by adding Crown Point to the “Knox Cannon Trail,” correcting a 1929 omission that incorrectly left Crown Point off of this heritage trail.

Friends of the Nature Center, Inc.

$4,435 to replace and enhance the signage for all 13 trails at the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center at Wellesley Island State Park


Southern Tier – total awarded: $10,748

Friends of Chenango Valley State Park

Friends of Chenango Valley State Park

$5,998 to purchase supplies for the new Interpretive Center building, an outdoor movie theater system, and build three recycling stations for the camping areas

Friends of Gorge Parks

$4,750 to achieve legal non-profit status for a new group that will steward Robert H. Treman, Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock Falls, Fillmore Glen, Watkins Glen, and Stony Brook State Parks


Western New York – total awarded: $53,000

Friends of Midway State Park

$17,000 to boost visitation to the park and increase utilization of the new miniature golf course; profits from evening use of the golf course will further the Friends’ restoration and preservation efforts.

Friends of Knox Farm State Park

$36,000 to paint the clad exterior of the Main House and complete the restoration of the Main House and enhance the site’s appeal as an event space


Background on the Park and Trail Partnership Program

The Park and Trail Partnership Program is a $500,000 capacity-building matching grants program funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund. The program is designed to:

  • Enhance the preservation, stewardship, interpretation, maintenance and promotion of New York State parks, trails and state historic sites.
  • Increase the sustainability, effectiveness, productivity, and volunteer and fundraising capabilities of not-for-profit organizations that promote, maintain, and support New York State parks, trails and state historic sites.
  • Promote the tourism and economic development benefits of outdoor recreation through the growth and expansion of a connected statewide network of parks, trails and greenways.