The Wandering Eye: Now they Want to Close Our Parks?
Our blogger, interior designer Carey Maloney, and his partner Hermes Mallea, an architect, are principals in the M (Group).
To file under :
One More Thing to Worry About….
Let me revise that to :
One More Thing to Deal With…
Niagara Falls State Park, founded in 1885, is the oldest state park in the United States. Since then, 177 parks have been added to the New York State Parks system, creating a parks network that is used by 55 million people each year. A great achievement, representing 125 years of work.
I’m assuming this is Color Enhanced. If not, I’m headed to Niagara, ‘cause it is psychedelic..
Well - - as I am sure you have heard, our New York State parks are under fire. Proposed budget cuts will result in closing 55 parks and historic sites and severely reducing services to another 24 parks.
I thought, from the first list I saw, that Clermont (which I can see from my bedroom) had dodged the bullet. Now I hear from Hermes that the bullet hasn’t been dodged—Clermont indeed may close.
So, in the RI area, in Dutchess and Columbia Counties, we are threatened with the closings of the Clermont and Staatsburgh historic sites. Olana and the Walkway over the Hudson would see open days reduced by 2 days per week.
Take a gander at this Robert Livingston’s CV… What didn’t he do?? And his house might be closed???
After the initial blow of “Clermont closing ? That can’t be…” wore off, I started reading….
First, visit the Parks and Trails New York website. They say it way better than I can. All the information you need plus contacts and helpful advice on how to speak out against the cuts. Parks and Trails should get you fired up…
The economics make no sense to me. The State Parks budget is ¼ of 1% of the entire New York State budget. Tiny. So, to save $6.3 million dollars, they close 55 parks?? The parks generate $5 in economic activity for every $1 spent. Pretty super rate of return. Overall the parks generate $1.9 billion in economic activity and employ over 20,000 people.
Taconic State Park falls. Close to my heart – I almost got arrested there.
And on another level, how can you ‘close’ an historic house? How do you protect/conserve the decorative and fine arts—the patrimony that the state has been entrusted to protect. And how much would that cost??? If/when these facilities reopen, you have to spend more dough restoring/repairing/replacing what you lost during to the period it was closed.
This is all so illogical, it sounds like political/budgetary posturing to me—but if we aren’t vigilant, that posturing may become fact.
Friends of Clermont had a board meeting last week where Hermes and the other board members were given their marching orders.
First – focus on the Assembly members. These are the guys who can put the pressure on the all-powerful (sadly) Sheldon Silver. (FYI – take a moment to wonder at the district map. It is nuts! Too crazy to be anything but shameless gerrymandering.)
State Senator Stephen Saland (R)
I got briefly waylaid by the hits re: his vocal opposition to same sex marriage. I guess the State Senator for Rhinecliff doesn’t take Amtrak, because I commented last Friday as I picked up houseguests, “Were there any straight people on that train?” And my guests said, “Not that we saw.” Just a head’s up, Senator…Demographics change and the gays have looooong memories.
Back to the issue at hand…
Painful as it is – a written letter via snail mail carries more weight than the easier email.
But hey – do either… Or do both .
Use Parks and Trails New York for guidance.
We need our parks!!!!
OK – worst case scenario, they lay off 19,998 employees – I’ll march in Albany to save these two Jones Beach lifeguards from the unemployment line.