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Dear Friend,
Summer is half over. I’m not trying to depress you, I’m hoping to motivate you!
In this issue of You Gotta Have Friends, you’ll see that there are many new opportunities to enjoy New York’s shared natural, cultural and historical resources. From a new historic site in Greenwich Village to a revamped exhibit in the Adirondacks to the grand opening of a state-of-the-art nature center in America’s Best State Park, there’s much to explore no matter what corner of the state you call home.

Warm regards,
Laura DiBetta 
Director, Parks Program & Government Relations
Cool off at a State Park this Summer

As the summer heat intensifies, going for a swim can be the perfect way to cool off! New York State Parks offer many options for swimming, from gorgeous lakes to relaxing beaches to pristine pools. And, now, there are also more opportunities to learn to swim.

Connect Kids to Parks Grant Opportunity

Teachers, start planning your field trips now! The Connect Kids to Parks Grant Program is available to Title 1 classrooms across the state to defray the costs of bus transportation to state parks and historic sites for field trips.

New Nature Center Opens at Letchworth

The Humphrey Nature Center has officially opened to the public, and Letchworth State Park’s more than 650,000 annual visitors can now marvel at its beauty. 

Stonewall Inn Named State Historic Site

Recognized as an international symbol for the fight for LGBT equality, the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's Greenwich Village is now a New York State Historic Site and a National Historic Monument.

Going Green by Going Blue

A pilot program at Bear Mountain State Park aims to make recycling more convenient for park visitors and relies on volunteers to spread the word.

Dreaming of Timbuctoo

A new exhibit, curated by Friends group John Brown Lives! that chronicles a chapter of the Adirondack’s abolitionist history, opened in its new, permanent home at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid.


For many New Yorkers, a fond summer memory from childhood is chasing and catching fireflies (aka lightning bugs). Spotting the Synchronous Firefly (Photinus carolinus) is a special treat and one you can now catch at Allegany State Park.

Featured Friend - Volunteer Profile

When Mary Kay Stone retired from a career in professional theater props management and returned to her hometown of Oswego, NY, it wasn’t long before her love of history and theater drew her to Fort Ontario State Historic Site.

Short Takes / Resources

Upcoming State Park Friends Gatherings:

Western New York (Niagara, Genesee, Allegany)

September 20, 2016
Letchworth State Park Visitor Center
Long Island/New York City
October 5, 2016
Planting Fields Arboretum Conference Center
Finger Lakes/Central/Thousand Islands                        
October 13, 2016
Seneca Arts and Culture Center
Hudson Valley (Taconic/Palisades)
October 17, 2016
John Jay Homestead
November 3, 2016
Saratoga Spa State Park
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