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30 Park and Trail Friends Groups Receive Grants

Aug 2, 2021

- Parks & Trails New York has awarded grants totaling $900,000 to 30 non-profit "friends" organizations that steward and champion NYS parks, trails, historic sites, and public lands.

Park and Trail Partnership Grants, administered by PTNY in partnership with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, are funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund. They support a wide array of partner efforts, from raising private funds for capital projects and performing maintenance and beautification activities to providing educational programming and promoting public use of parks through hosting special events.

Recipients must match the state funding by at least 10 percent of the grant amount received.

"With more and more people discovering the outdoors, and visitation to our parks, trails, and public lands soaring, the need for strong public/public partnerships has never been greater," says Robin Dropkin, PTNY Executive Director. "The Park and Trail Partnership Grants help bolster the role of Friends groups in these vital partnerships."

Next Grant Round Opens in September.

The next round of applications is slated to open in September 2021. For information on eligibility, types of fundable projects and details on how to apply visit the PTNY website.

Congrats to the 2021 Awardees:

Capital Region

  • Friends of Fort Crailo ($6,500) -- To harness the capacity to draw broader awareness to the Friends of Fort Crailo and Crailo State Historic Site by strengthening the board makeup, developing a strong membership plan, and creating a website.
  • Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park ($9,506) - To build capacity through membership, volunteer, and donor development, and to fund a series of activities including hiking, mountain biking, summer film series, fundraising events, promotional materials, and other supporting initiatives.
  • Friends of Saratoga Spa State Park ($75,000) -- To restore the Coesa spring house, provide interpretive signage about the Coesa Mineral Spring, and to install a historically accurate replica of the original granite fountain.
  • Friends of Bennington Battlefield ($6,750) - To add professionally produced audio files via QR code to recently installed interpretive panels providing diverse accounts of the Battle.
  • Lake George Battlefield Park (Fort George) Alliance ($2,040) - To develop, print and distribute an updated Battlefield Park Tour Guide and rack card to build awareness of the new Lake George Battlefield Park Visitor Interpretive Center.

Central New York

  • Friends of Clark Reservation ($5,400) - To develop a strategic plan.
  • Friends of Fillmore Glen State Park ($13,296) - To create kiosks in the park with maps, information, and educational interpretive signs and to upgrade event signage.
  • Friends of Lorenzo ($43,020) - To arrange collections of maps, photos, land records, letters, and other historical documents into usable electronic collections to facilitate intellectual control and use.

Finger Lakes

  • Friends of Letchworth State Park ($50,700) - To restore and preserve 18 iconic Civilian Conservation Corps-built stone tables at the Wolf Creek and Eddyspicnic areas.
  • Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park ($16,200) - To fund a campaign and marketing plan to assist in public relations and fundraising.

Long Island

  • Atlantic Marine Conservation Society ($23,084) - To install enhanced education signage at Hallock State Park Preserve and Orient Beach State Park and a new exhibit in Hallock State Park Preserve's Community Room to highlight the important ecosystems and marine life at both parks.
  • Bayard Cutting Arboretum Horticultural Society ($50,000) -To hire an Education Coordinator to organize, increase, and enhance educational programs to better serve the arboretum and community.
  • Walt Whitman Birthplace Association ($33,888) - To promote Whitman's legacy through expanded website capabilities and marketing strategies which will bring attention, admiration, interactions, and support to the grounds of Whitman's birth.


  • Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance ($36,000) - To contract the services of a Communications and Development Specialist who will establish critical communications and development infrastructure to engage professional staff, expand public and private constituencies, and fundraise for capital projects and public programs.
  • Fort Montgomery Battle Site Association ($33,300) -- To repair and make safe the trail in the western portion of Fort Montgomery State Historic Site--part two of a two-phase project.
  • Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct ($24,875) - To expand successful outreach and community engagement in underserved and diverse communities by retaining a part-time outreach coordinator to increase awareness about the Aqueduct and enhance the capacity of the Friends.
  • Friends of Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Inc. ($60,000) - To rehabilitate the historic Overlook Trail carriage road in the Swan Lake section of Rockefeller State Park Preserve.
  • Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association ($75,000) - To repair and repave one of the oldest sections of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail which is part Taconic State Park.
  • Little Stony Point Citizens Association, Inc. ($13,500) - To increase access, stewardship, and environmental education opportunities by making the trail to the Little Stony Point overlook more accessible.
  • Walkway Over the Hudson ($64,996) - To fund a position to oversee its successful Summer Walkway Ambassador Program (a youth employment program), and to assist with on-bridge operations, events, and management of the new East Gate Plaza.

Mohawk Valley

  • Hyde Hall, Inc. ($2,830) - To design, fabricate, and install four interpretive and educational panels that introduce visitors to Hyde Hall's history and offer a general welcome and orientation to the site.

New York City

  • Four Freedoms Park Conservancy ($35,000) - To fund programming in FDR Four Freedoms State Park; plan, develop and execute a range of on-site tours given by area experts; and develop and execute self-guided mobile tours in multiple languages.

North Country

  • Adirondack Architectural Heritage ($30,000) - To complete a five-year rehabilitation of Poke-O-Moonshine's 1.8-mile Ranger Trail as a model of an interesting, varied, and sustainable interpretive trail to the top of the mountain.
  • Adirondack Mountain Club ($14,139) - To hire one staff member for a Summer Stewardship Program to be stationed on top of New York's tallest mountains from May to October to educate the public on alpine ecosystems and enlist their help in protecting this fragile resource.
  • Winona Forest Recreation Association ($26,837) - To double the traditional event trail course by adding five new bridges, three new trails, and performing trail rehabilitation, including the addition of a new 5K trail which can be used by hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.

Southern Tier

  • Friends of The Catharine Valley Trail ($13,500) - To remedy trail erosion by installing culverts, resurfacing, and installing two interpretive kiosks at strategic locations.

Western NY

  • Artpark & Company, Inc. ($50,000) - To create a comprehensive wayfinding system and incorporate public Wi-Fi along Artpark's pathways providing data access to a diverse demographic of Artpark visitors, and to serve as a functional necessity for the proposed interactive signage system and data collection.
  • Chautauqua County Equestrian Trail System ($64,805) - To provide environmentally friendly, sustainable rehabilitation of the trail known as The Boulevard, which acts as a critical point of access for trail users and has been closed for the past two years due to logging.
  • Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve ($6,510) -To provide permanent, durable trailside interpretive signs along the "History Trail," including new accessibility features and an audio tour.
  • Martin House Restoration Corporation ($13,500) - To retain a Curatorial Intern who will support the second phase of a comprehensive collections cataloging project that will strengthen the stewardship of the collections and make them more accessible.