I Love My Park

Area residents have the opportunity to improve the quality of two local state parks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that online registration is now available for the third annual I Love My Park Day, sponsored by New York Parks & Trails, to be held on Saturday, May 3. Nearly 80 state parks and historic sites across New York will participate, including Midway and Allegany state parks.

Volunteers will celebrate New York’s park system by cleaning up storm damage and debris on park lands, planting trees and gardens, restoring trails and wildlife habitat, removing invasive species and working on various improvement projects.

“Gov. Cuomo continues to demonstrate his commitment to the infrastructure of parks and sites throughout the state, allowing us to make significant capital improvements to enhance the experience for all of our visitors. This year, with another $90 million commitment of New York Works funds, we look forward to continuing to transform and revitalize our park system for the 21st century,” said Rose Harvey, state parks commissioner. “I’d like to thank Parks & Trails New York for organizing I Love My Park Day, and invite volunteers of all ages to join us again on I Love My Park Day for this special opportunity for a strong show of support for New York’s wonderful park system. The support of the public and dedicated partners will make our parks and sites the very best they can be.”

According to Kate Gross, Midway State Park manager, about 60 volunteers came to help at the park last year for I Love My Park Day, including state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-Jamestown.

“It is a great three hours to come out and help spruce up the park,” she said. “We did a lot of work over the winter, but could use a little more help.”

Midway will be holding the event from 9 a.m. to noon.

To pre-register to volunteer at Midway, call 386-3164 with the names of volunteers planning to attend, or register online at ptny.wufoo.com/forms/i-love-my-park-day-volunteer-registration-z1ubf0a60ds47zf/.

Katie Vecellio, programming coordinator for Allegany State Park, said that she is hoping to have 75 volunteers come out for the event.

“This year, we will be focused on the Quaker side of the park – last year we did the Red House side,” Vecellio said. “We will be constructing picnic tables, picking up garbage, cleaning up the snowmobile and horse trails and working on fire pit cleanup at camp sites.”

Check-in for the event will be from 9-10 a.m. at the Quaker Store Museum and work will be completed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers need to bring water, lunch and work clothes that are appropriate for the weather.

To pre-register online to volunteer at Allegany, visit ptny.wufoo.com/forms/i-love-my-park-day-volunteer-registration/.

For more information about what projects are planned for Allegany State Park and age requirements for certain activities, visit nysparks.com.

“Governor Cuomo’s historic investment in state parks has helped New York’s state parks and historic sites make significant improvements, but to help them sparkle like the gems they are, we’re enlisting the support of friends, volunteers and partners,” said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York executive director. “We hope New Yorkers who use and love their parks will take advantage of this opportunity to do their part by pitching in at this year’s I Love My Park Day.”

Last year, over 4,000 volunteers from across the state participated in the event.

“If you spend time enjoying New York’s beautiful state parks and historic sites throughout the year, I hope you’ll take time on May 3 to give back,” Cuomo said. “Our state parks are some of our most treasured resources, and it is our responsibility as citizens to preserve and care for them so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

For more information, contact the Allegany State Park recreation department at 354-9101 ext. 236, or Midway State Park at 386-3165.