New York State to Consider Closing Parks

Not good news. We all know that New York State is financially strapped, and the signs of bankruptcy have been evident for years; New York State government has had years to resolve the problem, but hadn’t. Now, suddenly, the state wants to slash everything. In the big scramble to remain solvent, Governor Paterson is considering closing several state parks and historic sites across the state (mostly Upstate). This is from Jim Walter, Executive Director at Madison County Tourism at

New York State’s tourism promotion budget has been slashed 27% under Governor Patterson. The Governor has proposed cutting another 30% from the state tourism budget for the upcoming fiscal year. On top of that the Governor has proposed merging the Matching Funds Grants which fund local tourism promotion ($58,000 for Madison County Tourism last year) with the overall tourism promotion effort led by Empire State Development’s division of Tourism. This would effectively eliminate the tourism grant program and cut Madison County’s marketing efforts by 32% in 2010.

It’s a really stupid move to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. New York State has promoted it’s amazing tourist attractions for years, and now suddenly they want to shut parts of it down?! New York State should turn this around, and make some lemonade out of lemons. The economy isn’t only affecting state government, ya know! It’s affecting everybody! So that means that people are traveling less extensively, and staying in the local region more. But people still need to take breaks, so it’s obvious that we will look to local tourist attractions and parks for those breaks. The state is really doing stupid thing. The state needs these parks, has a vested financial interest in keeping them. It is reported that more than 53 million people visited state parks in 2009! In 2008, tourism in New York generated $7 BILLION. More importantly, we taxpayers NEED these parks. Paying all these super-high taxes and living among such acrimonious government isn’t very fun, you know. It’s a little soothing to know that at least SOME of our taxes goes toward something else besides paying the heating bills at Gracie Mansion and for the billions of people on Medicaid. :-p

If we New Yorkers need to do a little more on our own to keep things like this afloat, so be it. For example, have school children go on “community clean up” field trips where the kids visit a park and clean up the park as well. Or, reduce waste such as printing fewer of those bloated, extraneous brochures that clutter up the visitor’s centers. Moreover, why can’t the state cut the extraneous expenses elsewhere that produce little to nothing in profit? Such as the bloated administrative jobs in government offices and schools?! I don’t see why we have to cut back on everything that benefits us, and the government doesn’t cut back on their salaries or perks.

It has historically been the “New York way” to make things very unpleasant when the state sees sour times. Look at the financial problems that New York State has been having for the past 15+ years: rather than make New York State a more attractive place to live and do business, the government raises taxes, adds burdensome regulations, creates “fees,” and essentially drives out anyone who may have considered staying in or coming to NYS. When things are bad and people are leaving, don’t make things worse by raising taxes, closing the little pleasures of life, and driving out the rest of us! Making life more miserable in New York State will not help anything. STUPID!

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (5)

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  1. sharkbytes says:

    I know… Michigan almost didn’t reauthorize funds for their prizewinning Pure Michigan ad campaign, and they are closing state forest campgrounds while trying to get people to come here and play outdoors. Does any of this make sense?

  2. Jim Walter says:

    The list came out yesterday and it is not pretty. 55 state parks closing including Chittenango Falls State Park. You can follow the updates in the battle to keep them open at our blog,, or friend Madison County Tourism on Facebook. What really can be done is contact your legislator. Via mail or phone and tell them a personal story of what NYS parks mean to you. Pictures work well too. They get a ton of form letters this time of year and the personal stories, the interesting letters rise to the top of the list.

  3. Jackie Gelormini says:

    Is Kring Point State Park amoung the parks that will be closed? If it is I would be interested in purchasing all or part of it. Contact me at

  4. Jackie Gelormini says:

    Interested in purchasing all or part of Kring Point State Park if it will be closed by the state and put up for sale.

  5. […] remember the New York State government threatened it before, under Governor Cuomo: closing some of New York State’s parks and historic sites to “save” money. Governor Paterson is at it, now. Rumors have it that even the jewel of […]