erona Beach and Green Lakes state parks in Central New York will use more than $13 million in state funding for improvement projects at each location.
The funding is part of the NY Parks 2020 initiative, the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a news release Thursday.
“New York has some of the nation’s best locations for outdoor recreation, and through the NY Parks 2020 program we are transforming them to be better than ever,” Cuomo said in the news release. “I am proud to see the progress at Verona Beach and Green Lakes moving forward, and I encourage New Yorkers to check out a state park near them this summer.”
NY Parks 2020 is a multi-year effort leveraging a “broad range of private and public funding” to invest about $900 million in state parks between 2011 and 2020, according to Cuomo’s news release.
The 2015-16 state budget includes $110 million for this initiative, his office added.
Cuomo first announced NY Parks 2020 in early March.
Verona Beach State Park in Oneida County will use $4.2 million to pay for the completion of a new bathhouse and pavilions “in time for the summer swim season,” Cuomo’s office said.
Located on the eastern shore of Oneida Lake, Verona Beach on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of its “complete beach facility makeover,” Cuomo’s office said.
The project includes a new bathhouse, a concession stand, public restrooms, and a first-aid station with lifeguard office and locker rooms.
The project also expanded the beach area and provided flood protection by locating the building further from the beach and at a higher elevation.
Green Lakes State Park in the town of Manlius will use its nearly $9 million in funding for ongoing campground upgrades and a renovation of the golf clubhouse.
The golf clubhouse is undergoing $3.1 million in work to replace the multi-tiered patio with an outdoor dining area.
An addition to the pro shop will include new public restrooms, which “were not previously available in close proximity to the shop.”
The second phase, which begins this fall, calls for the design and renovation of the clubhouse’s interior.
Besides the clubhouse, Green Lakes’ Pine Woods Campground is currently undergoing a $2.95 million project to install improved campsites.
They will include electric, water, and sewer connections “for the first time in the Central New York region.”
The second phase of the campground project, which begins this fall, will involve construction of a second restroom building to serve campsites and the park’s newly renovated cabins, and will install electricity for the remaining sites, according to the news release.
The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed $1.1 million in funds toward the campground project, Cuomo’s office said.
Concurrently, a $2.9 million effort to upgrade utilities and park entry is also under way.
The upgraded utilities, including water, sewer, electric, communications and roadways, will serve the park’s northern area, which includes the park and Pine Woods Campground area.
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