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Letter: Great to see New York restoring parks system

Great to see New York restoring parks system

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s historic enhancement and restoration projects at Niagara Falls are part of an exciting parks upswing whose benefits reach beyond the local community to the greater state.

Just five short years ago, the New York Times was characterizing Niagara Falls as “shabby” and “underfunded.” The once-stately park and the rest of the state parks system were at a crossroads; in fact, the Alliance for New York State Parks, newly launched by the Open Space Institute, revealed that widespread deferred maintenance and underinvestment had accumulated into a capital backlog of more than $1 billion.

In the years since, with the public’s unflagging support, a robust commitment from Cuomo and the State Legislature, and the hard work of the Open Space Institute and its partners, our state parks are enjoying a full-blown renaissance. On behalf of the more than 9 million people who visit Niagara Falls each year, we applaud Cuomo, the Legislature and the many tireless public and private supporters for renewing the commitment to our state’s greatest natural, recreational and cultural landmarks, and commend them for restoring these wonderful treasures as sources of pride, community vitality and economic strength.

Erik Kulleseid

Open Space Institute