State parks (re)open

Thacher Park view

Now open: Thacher Park.

The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced this afternoon it's opening all of the state parks -- including Thacher and the other parks that had been closed -- for this weekend. From the release:

[Commissioner Carol] Ash said staff will immediately reopen gates to parking lots and unlock the facilities to make them available for normal day-use activities, including picnicking, hiking, cycling and fishing. Other amenities will become available over the next few days as workers who have been reassigned return to their regular work sites and normal levels of seasonal park workers and lifeguards are hired.

WNYT reported earlier this afternoon that the closed signs at Thacher Park are already down and the grass is being mowed.

Just this afternoon (in fact, just within the last hour), the state Senate voted 32-27 in favor of a bill that provides funding for the parks (the Assembly passed a similar bill last night). [State of Politics]

Update: Senate minority leader Dean Skelos criticized the measure as "a classic bait and switch scam that promises open parks and delivers a mess of millions of dollars in new taxes and fees on businesses and reduces environmental protection funds." [Skelos statement]

photo: Kathie Dello

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