Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Office of

skip breadcrumbs
All amounts are in dollars
Category Available
Change From
State Operations 227,915,900 226,886,400 -1,029,500 16,292,200
Aid To Localities 32,196,510 13,675,000 -18,521,510 26,952,405
Capital Projects 147,000,000 56,000,000 -91,000,000 241,406,000
Total 407,112,410 296,561,400 -110,551,010 284,650,605

Full-Time Equivalent Positions (FTE)
Program 2008-09
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
    General Fund 81 78 -3
Historic Preservation
    General Fund 199 193 -6
    Special Revenue Funds - Federal 12 12 0
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 1 0 -1
Park Operations
    General Fund 1,449 1,402 -47
    Special Revenue Funds - Federal 9 9 0
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 386 386 0
    Capital Projects Funds - Other 120 120 0
Recreation Services
    General Fund 14 14 0
Total 2,271 2,214 -57

Note: Most recent estimates as of 12/16/08.


The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s mission is to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors, and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic, and cultural resources. The Office operates and maintains 178 parks and 35 historic sites, hosts a multitude of cultural and educational programs and offers diverse recreational opportunities, ranging from secluded campsites to the internationally renowned Niagara Falls State Park. Approximately 55 million people visit the State’s parks and historic sites annually.

New York’s park system and its unparalleled recreational opportunities are an important factor in the State’s tourism industry and economy. Services open to the public at State parks include beaches, golf courses, performing arts centers, swimming pools, marinas, cabins, campgrounds and many significant bird conservation, wildlife habitat, historic properties and natural areas.

Budget Highlights

The Executive Budget recommends more than $296 million All Funds ($139.6 million General Fund; $5.2 million Federal funds) for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). This is a decrease of more than $110 million All Funds with a decrease of $8.5 million on a General Fund basis from the 2008-09 budget. This change primarily reflects a year-to-year adjustment related to a $95 million capital initiative in the 2008-09 budget. These funds will support the operation of all existing park facilities and the development of parklands acquired with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. The 2009-10 Executive Budget includes reductions in state park and historic site operations resulting from the 2008-09 ten percent agency spending reduction plan. These include the consolidation of services, reduced hours of operations, shorter seasons of peak operations and reduced levels of patron and program services at state parks and historic sites.

Specifically, preliminary operations plans for 2009-10 call for the following:

  • Delayed openings and early seasonal closings;
  • Mid-week service reductions/closures at parks, historic sites and recreation areas;
  • Reduced operating hours for pools, beaches, nature centers, historic sites and other activities; and
  • Elimination of services at satellite and underutilized facilities, select special event and holiday programs, select park recreational services and the reduction or elimination of group programming at parks, nature centers and historic sites.

Further, savings associated with implementation of the statewide hiring freeze continues in 2009-10.

For fiscal year 2009-10, the Office will have a workforce of 2,214. This is a decrease of 57 positions from 2008-09 levels as a result of the statewide hiring freeze and the Office’s 2008-09 Financial Management Plan.

The General Fund continues to be the Office’s primary source of support for its operating and local assistance budgets by providing 61.5 percent of its funding. The remaining 38.5 percent is provided by a variety of sources, including:

  • User fees at the parks (35.5 percent);
  • Federal grants for activities related to the use of recreational vehicles and land and water conservation (2.3 percent); and
  • Other miscellaneous funds, including moneys earmarked for historic sites and arboretums (0.7 percent).

The primary focus of the Office’s capital program is the health and safety of park visitors and the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing facilities. Park facilities include more than 5,000 buildings, 29 golf courses, 53 swimming pools, 76 beaches, 27 marinas, 40 vacation rentals, 18 nature centers, 817 cabins and 8,355 campsites. The Office also maintains hundreds of miles of roads and over 1,350 miles of trails, expansive utility systems, 106 dams and 604 bridges.

For 2009-10, appropriations of $56 million are recommended for capital projects from the State Park Infrastructure Fund, a dedicated fund consisting of revenues generated from day use and camping fees at the parks, as well as concession revenues and other miscellaneous revenues. Budget recommendations also include $4 million in Federal appropriations for Federal Land and Water Conservation funding, $10 million in fiduciary appropriations for other potential gifts to improve various parks and $3.8 million for miscellaneous capital projects.

Funding from the State Park Infrastructure Fund will be supplemented with resources for State parks capital projects from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the EPF. In 2009-10, the EPF will provide $38 million for infrastructure and stewardship projects at State parks and lands operated by the OPRHP and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

2009-10 Executive Budget — Agency Presentation
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Office of (PDF)