The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) is a state agency within the New York State Executive Department charged with the operation of state parks and historic sites within the U.S. state of New York. As of 2014, the NYS OPRHP manages nearly 335,000 acres (523 sq mi; 1,360 km2) of public lands and facilities, including 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, that are visited by over 62 million visitors each year.
|New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation|
|Headquarters||625 Broadway |
Albany, NY 12207
|Employees||1,737 permanent |
4,500+ seasonal (2014)
|Annual budget||$385,693,500 USD (2014-15)|
|Parent department||Executive Department|
The agency that would become the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) was created in 1970; however, the history of state parks and historic sites in New York stretches back to the latter part of the 19th century. Management of state-owned parks, and guidance for the entire state park system, was accomplished by various regional commissions, private organizations, statewide advisory councils, and divisions within other state agencies prior to the establishment of NYS OPRHP, which grew from the framework created by these earlier organizations.
State-level procurement and management of parks in New York began in 1883, when then-governor Grover Cleveland signed legislation authorizing the appropriation of lands near Niagara Falls for a "state reservation".:10 Two years later, the Niagara Reservation, known today as Niagara Falls State Park, opened to the public. The park is claimed to be the oldest state park in the United States,[note 1] and was the first established via eminent domain.
The State Reservation on the St. Lawrence was authorized in 1896, and by 1898 it included modest state holdings in the Thousand Islands region of New York. During the early 20th century, the state continued to expand its public parks system with several large additions, including Letchworth State Park in 1906, Fire Island State Park (known today as Robert Moses State Park) in 1908, John Boyd Thacher State Park in 1914, Enfield Glen State Park (today's Robert H. Treman State Park) in 1920, and Allegany State Park in 1921. A coordinated effort to protect portions of the Hudson Palisades from the damaging effects of quarrying resulted in the creation of a number of state parks in the 1910s and 1920s, including Bear Mountain State Park and Harriman State Park.:10–12
Throughout these early acquisitions, the state lacked a formal statewide agency or organization to coordinate management and development of state parks. Instead, parks were managed by independent regional commissions, such as the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, or by organizations such as the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. To address the need for statewide coordination, the New York State Council of Parks was created by legislation adopted on April 18, 1924.:15 The council served to plan development and set standard policies for all New York state-owned parks, reservations, and historic sites that were not under the authority of the New York State Conservation Commission (which notably included those lands that comprised the Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks and Catskills). Its formation was supported by governor Alfred E. Smith and based on plans by Robert Moses, who became the council's first commissioner;:16 Moses would remain in charge of the council until 1963.:40
The council initially included representatives from regional park commissions and other organizations involved in park management, including the Conservation Commission and the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Prior to the creation of the Division of Parks (see below), the State Council of Parks was the highest-level organization overseeing park management in the state.:16
Although it later became an advisory body, the council continues to this day, known officially as the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It includes representatives from the following departments and commissions as of 2014:
A reorganization of New York's state government took place in 1926, which resulted in the creation of the New York State Conservation Department. The newly formed Conservation Department included a Division of Parks which assumed responsibility for management of New York's parks and historic sites. The Council of Parks continued as a constituent unit of the Division of Parks.:16 The council was also at this time given the additional responsibility of planning highway improvements to enable access to park facilities.
Although the Great Depression of the 1930s reduced available funding for New York's state parks, the period was a time of development of existing parks' facilities. Construction teams comprising workers employed through federal programs such as the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, Civil Works Administration, and Works Progress Administration cleared woodlands, performed maintenance tasks, and built roads, trails, golf courses, buildings, and furniture for New York's parks through the 1930s and early 1940s.:28
As the Depression came to a close with the United States joining World War II in 1941, New York State was managing 74 parks welcoming a combined 20 million visitors annually.:28 However, the Division of Parks' responsibilities were reduced in 1944 when 27 State Historic Sites were placed under the jurisdiction of the New York State Education Department. These sites were eventually returned to the Conservation Department in 1966; in the same year, the New York State Historic Trust (which later became the New York State Board for Historic Preservation) was created to help guide their management.
New York's park system continued expansion after World War II ended. The creation or completion of various parkways in the state, such as the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Lake Ontario Parkway, received priority during the 1950s.:32 As visitation to New York's state parks increased following the war, new lands were sought for state parks, including unsuccessful attempts to expand into the Forest Preserve. Increased funding for parks made available in the 1960s did allow for the purchase of several large tracts throughout the state for parkland development.:34,36 The state also began at this time to expand into new areas, such as an increase in boating facilities and establishment of parks within New York City.:40,42
A major shift in New York's park management came in 1970 with legislation that created the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which was tasked with all responsibilities of the former Conservation Department, with the exception of managing the state's parks and historic sites outside of the Forest Preserve. The former Division of Parks was upgraded to become an independent agency, known as the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation.:40 Legislation enacted in 1972 gave the agency direct control of New York's park lands, with the State Council of Parks and regional commissions retaining an advisory role in management. The agency's name was updated in 1981 to its current form, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP).
The state park system underwent a period of rapid expansion during former governor George Pataki's administration. Between 1995 and 2007, Pataki, along with then-parks commissioner Bernadette Castro, opened 28 new state parks. Although the governor was lauded as a conservationist for his actions, the new parks increased financial burdens on the NYS OPRHP, whose funding for operations remained steady. In 2010, a statewide fiscal crisis led to an announcement that 55 state parks and historic sites would be closed. The threatened closures were eventually averted, with budget shortfalls made up through reduced staffing and hours at many parks, closure of some internal facilities such as campgrounds and golf courses, and increases in user fees.
The 2010 fiscal crisis resulted in decreased availability of funds for maintenance and upkeep at New York's parks. To help address an estimated $1 billion in needed repairs, $143 million in funds were made available in 2012; the money came from a combination of state, federal, and private grant sources. Sustained funding for repairs was announced in 2015, with the state planning to spend $900 million by 2020 at parks and historic sites throughout the state.
As of 2014, the NYS OPRHP administered:
Amherst State Park is an 80-acre (0.32 km2) park in Erie County, New York, United States. The park is located northeast of Buffalo, partially in the Village of Williamsville with the balance located in the Town of Amherst. The park is managed by the Town of Amherst under an agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.Beechwood State Park
Beechwood State Park is a 288-acre (1.17 km2) state park located on the shore of Lake Ontario in the Town of Sodus in Wayne County, New York. The park occupies land that was formerly the site of a Girl Scout camp. The park is owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and is currently operated by the Town of Sodus under an agreement with New York State.Buskirk Bridge
Buskirk Bridge is a wooden covered bridge and is the name of the hamlet in which it is located. It is in the town of Hoosick. The bridge, which crosses the Hoosic River is one of 29 historic covered bridges in New York State. The bridge takes its name from the nearby hamlet of the same name, which was named after the local Van Buskirk family.Town and Howe truss designs were patented by Ithiel Town in 1820 and William Howe in 1840, respectively. The Buskirk Bridge a Howe truss design, and was built to replace a previous Burr arch truss. It is perhaps the earliest Howe truss bridge that survives in New York State.A topographic map of its location appears in its individual inventory document prepared by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1977.It is one of four Washington County covered bridges submitted for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in a multiple property submission. The others are the Rexleigh Bridge, the Eagleville Bridge, and Shushan Bridge. All four were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1972.The bridge continues in use for vehicles, and is maintained jointly by Washington County and Rensselaer County.Dinsmore Golf Course
Dinsmore Golf Course, located in Staatsburg, New York, is listed as the third-oldest golf course in the United States, according to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. It was originally created by Hal Purdy in the 1890s as a private, nine-hole course, and was expanded to a full 18 holes in 1962.In recent decades, the course has been open to the public, and does not have any water hazards. Par is 70. The Dinsmore Golf Course provides nice views of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains. The course is also located inside the Ogden Mills & Ruth Livingston Mills State Park.Harlem Valley Rail Trail
The Harlem Valley Rail Trail is a paved rail trail on an abandoned portion of the New York and Harlem Railroad, north of the Metro-North Railroad Harlem Line terminus in Wassaic. It is owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). It is maintained through an agreement between OPRHP, Dutchess County and the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association.
The former New York and Harlem main line was acquired by the New York Central Railroad in 1864, and became part of Penn Central Railroad in 1968. After facing severe bankruptcy in 1970, the line was abandoned for passenger service between Dover Plains and Chatham in 1972, though freight service continued throughout the line until 1976, when it was abandoned between Millerton and Ghent. The rest of the line was abandoned in 1980, but Metro-North restored service between Dover Plains and Wassaic in 2000. The abandoned rail line was converted into a public park in 1989. The rail trail opened in 1996, and was expanded in 1997, 2000 and 2005. It is planned to be expanded northward (beyond the current terminus in Taconic State Park) to Chatham, which would make the total length of the rail trail approximately 46 miles (74 km).Jeremiah Cunningham
Jeremiah Cunningham (September 1839 - May 23, 1908) was a farmer, mechanic, builder, and highway commissioner in Durham, New York. He served as highway commissioner from 1886 to at least 1900, and several of his stone arch bridges are listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places.Long Island State Park Commission
The Long Island State Park Commission was created in 1924 by the New York State Legislature to build and operate parks and parkways on Long Island. Governor Al Smith appointed as its first President, Robert Moses, who had drafted the bill creating the Commission and who served until 1953. The Commission was abolished in 1977, its parks being taken over by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and its parkways by the New York State Department of Transportation.National Register of Historic Places listings in Albany, New York
There are 65 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Albany, New York, United States. Six are additionally designated as National Historic Landmarks (NHLs), the most of any city in the state after New York City. Another 14 are historic districts, for which 20 of the listings are also contributing properties. Two properties, both buildings, that had been listed in the past but have since been demolished have been delisted; one building that is also no longer extant remains listed.
The listed properties represent approximately 250 years of the city's history, from its 17th-century Dutch colonial origins to its suburban expansion in the mid-20th century. Reflecting Albany's position as New York's state capital are the main buildings of all three branches of state government. City Hall, the main offices of the city's school district, and the diocesan cathedrals of both the Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches are also included.
Some properties are recognized at least in part for unique attributes, such as the possible grave of the only British peer buried in the United States, the only destroyer escort still afloat and the only fireplace in that style remaining in the country. Others recognize historic firsts such as the discovery of electrical inductance, the first state government building in the country to house an educational agency and the first basketball game played outside Massachusetts, where the sport was invented. Prominent architects represented include nationally prominent figures such as Henry Hobson Richardson, Richard Morris Hunt, Richard Upjohn and Stanford White, as well as local ones like Marcus T. Reynolds. In addition to the architects and many state politicians, historic personages associated with the listed properties include George Washington, John McCloskey and Legs Diamond.National Register of Historic Places listings in Orleans County, New York
This is intended to be a complete list of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Orleans County, New York. The locations of National Register properties and districts (at least for all showing latitude and longitude coordinates below) may be seen in a map by clicking on "Map of all coordinates". Two listings, the New York State Barge Canal and the Cobblestone Historic District, are further designated a National Historic Landmark.
There are currently 27 listings in the county, the fourth fewest in the state after Schuyler County (19), Hamilton County (22) and Genesee County (23). Seven of the listings are historic districts, including Mount Albion Cemetery (Millville Cemetery is classified as a site). The remaining 20 are individual buildings. No structures in the county are yet listed on the National Register.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.National Register of Historic Places listings in Rensselaer County, New York
This list is intended to be a complete compilation of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Rensselaer County, New York, United States. Seven of the properties are further designated National Historic Landmarks.
Rensselaer County sits east of the Hudson River in New York's Capital District and borders both Massachusetts and Vermont on the east. The area was originally inhabited by the Mohican Indian tribe until it was bought by the Dutch jeweler and merchant Kiliaen van Rensselaer in 1630 and incorporated into his patroonship Rensselaerswyck (which, in turn, was part of the Dutch colony New Netherland). The area now known as Rensselaer County passed into English hands in 1664, the Dutch regained control of it for a year in 1673, and the English resumed control in 1674. From 1674 until 1776 (the year of American independence), the area was under English or British control.Rensselaer County came into existence as a governmental entity in 1791, when it was established on lands that were previously part of Albany County. Rensselaer County consists of the cities of Rensselaer and Troy), as well as fourteen towns: Berlin, Brunswick, East Greenbush, Grafton, Hoosick, Nassau, North Greenbush, Petersburgh, Pittstown, Poestenkill, Sand Lake, Schaghticoke, Schodack, and Stephentown. The County also contains six villages: Castleton, East Nassau, Hoosick Falls, Nassau, Schaghticoke, and Valley Falls.
The locations of those National Register properties and districts in Rensselaer County for which latitude and longitude coordinates are listed below may be seen on a map by clicking on the links available within the table above and to the right, which allows readers to map all coordinates using OpenStreetMap and Google Maps.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.New York State Bridge Authority
The New York State Bridge Authority (or NYSBA) is a public benefit corporation in New York State, United States. The NYSBA was born out of the necessity to build a bridge over the Hudson River to link the city of Hudson and the village of Catskill. It owns, operates, and maintains five Hudson River bridge crossings in the Mid-Hudson River Valley of New York State. It also owns and maintains the Walkway over the Hudson, but that structure is operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.New York State Executive Department
The New York State Executive Department is the department of the New York state government that serves as the administrative department of the Governor of New York. This department has no central operating structure; it consists of a number of divisions, offices, boards, commissions, councils, and other independent agencies that provide policy advice and assistance to the governor and conduct activities according to statute or executive order. Its regulations are compiled in title 9 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
Among others, it includes the:
New York State Police
New York State Commission of Correction
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs
New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs
New York State Division of Housing and Community
New York State Gaming Commission
New York State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control
New York State Board of Elections
New York State Office of General Services
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Office of Victim ServicesNew York State Park Police
The New York State Park Police (NYSPP), is the law enforcement agency of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.Rexleigh Bridge
Rexleigh Bridge is a wooden covered bridge over the Batten Kill in Washington County, New York. It is one of 29 historic covered bridges in New York State.
Town and Howe truss designs were patented by Ithiel Town in 1820 and William Howe (architect) in 1840, respectively. The Rexleigh Bridge employs "the patented Howe truss, with paired diagonal timbers, single timber counters, and multiple vertical iron rods defining each truss panel. The diagonals and verticals are connected to the upper and lower chords by means of cast-iron bearing blocks." Those bearing blocks are "embossed with the name of their manufacturer, 'R. Comins, Troy, N.Y.,'" and, although the timber used is local, the bridge "appears to be a rare surviving example of this type of prefabricated nineteenth-century bridge construction."It was individually inventoried by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1977.It is one of four Washington County covered bridges submitted for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in one multiple property submission. The others are the Buskirk Bridge, the Eagleville Bridge, and Shushan Bridge. All four were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1972.Rhinebeck Village Historic District
The Rhinebeck Village Historic District is located along US 9 and NY 308 in Rhinebeck, New York, United States. It is an area of 167 acres (68 ha) contains 272 buildings in a variety of architectural styles dating from over 200 years of the settlement's history. It was recognized as a historic district and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as a cohesive area of preserved historic buildings.Its properties were developed primarily from the Colonial era to the end of the 19th century, when the district reached its present form. Three U.S. presidents have passed through here, most significantly, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who chose the design for a new post office during the 1930s, and spoke at its dedication. It is now one of the district's contributing properties. Today the area has become a popular local attraction, many of them housing boutiques and other small businesses. The streets are lined with large shade trees, bluestone sidewalks and other historic features.Sag Harbor State Golf Course
The Sag Harbor State Golf Course is 48.8-acre (197,000 m2), 9-hole golf facility is located in the middle of a 341-acre (1.38 km2) parcel known as the Barcelona Neck Natural Resources Management Area. The golf course is entirely located in the town of East Hampton in Suffolk County, New York, United States.
The course first opened in 1926 and was run by a group of volunteers for over half a century. The property was acquired by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 1989. The course was taken over by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1997.Shushan Bridge
Shushan Bridge is a covered bridge over the Batten Kill in the hamlet of Shushan in Washington County, New York, near Vermont. It is one of 29 surviving historic covered bridges in New York State, and one of 4 surviving in Washington County.
It was built in 1858 by builder Milton Stevens.
Town and Howe truss designs were patented by Ithiel Town in 1820 and William Howe in 1840, respectively. The Shushan Bridge employs "the patented Town lattice truss, consisting of top and bottom chords of laminated wood plank, and a web of diagonal wood planks connected by wood trunnels at each point of intersection".It was individually inventoried by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1977.It is one of four Washington County covered bridges submitted for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in one multiple property submission. The others are the Buskirk Bridge, the Rexleigh Bridge, and Eagleville Bridge. All four were listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 8, 1972.The Shushan bridge was closed to traffic in 1962, and was left abandoned for 10 years, then saved by local preservation efforts. Now it is operated as a seasonal museum.Timeline of Brooklyn
This is a timeline and chronology of the history of Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's boroughs, and was settled in 1646.Woodlawn Beach State Park
Woodlawn Beach State Park is a 107-acre (0.43 km2) park located near the village of Blasdell on the eastern shore of Lake Erie in Erie County, New York. It was opened as a state park in 1996, and has been operated since 2011 by the Town of Hamburg under a ten-year agreement with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Officers in the State of New York
New York State Government Departments
|Class A Statewide|
|Class A Regional|
|Class C (local jurisdiction: towns, villages, and small cities)|
|Class D (interstate and international)|