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Dear Friend,
Each year, we hear so many special stories from I Love My Park Day – how it brings people together, how it is creating new connections to state parks and historic sites, how it is inspiring young people to give back. 

Stories like the one about Tommy Finkin who first volunteered at the 2012 event at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island when he 12 years old. At that first event, Tommy and his mom spent the day planting flowers, building picnic tables and painting lifeguard chairs. Every time he visited the beach that summer, he looked at the flowers near the entrance with pride. He marveled that ‘his flowers’ were there and it gave him a sense of accomplishment and ownership. Now 15, Tommy has returned to Sunken Meadow on I Love My Park Day each year. 

You can read more about Tommy’s story and the impact I Love My Park Day is having in the latest issue of Conservationist magazine. Get inspired, then register to volunteer on May 7 and be a part of this exciting movement.

Warm regards,
Laura DiBetta 
Director, Parks Program & Government Relations

Smoking Ban in NYS Parks Upheld

The New York State Court of Appeals upheld a decision that would ban smoking from certain public spaces in New York State Parks and Historic Sites.

Keeping up with the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct 

The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct have been helping with the renovation of the historic Keeper's House in Dobbs Ferry for 14 years. With the help of a Park and Trail Partnership Program grant, they're getting close to the finish line.

Connect Kids to Parks!

In partnership with the National Park Service's Every-Kid-in-a-Park program, New York State launched the "Connect Kids to Parks" Initiative that will allow all New York State fourth graders in the state and their families free access to NYS Parks.

New Senate Tourism Chair Named

After spending 40 years as a broadcast journalist, mainly in Rochester, Rich Funke decided to run for state Senate to give back to his community. Since taking office in 2015, Senator Funke has proven to be a great friend to New York’s parks and trails.

New and Improved 

The state budget deal reached earlier this month includes a new $90 million capital appropriation for improvements to state parks and historic sites and will keep the momentum going for the entire parks system. Here’s a roundup of the latest projects at parks around the state.

Featured Friend: Linda Hall

Linda Hall loves birding, taking walks, and enjoying the outdoors. She stumbled upon the Friends of Chenango Valley by accident, but she sure is glad that she did.

You Gotta Have Tips: the CHAR 500

In this issue's technical tip, PTNY explains the mysterious New York State CHAR 500: who has to file it, why, and what to do if you run a non-profit and this is the first you've ever heard of it!

Short Takes / Resources

April 29: Deadline to comment on development of Taconic State Park Master Plan 

May 7: Save the Date for I Love My Park Day

September 24: Bike Your Park Day

PTNY is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity
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