state parks

Five years ago, a retired school administrator from Batavia had a conversation with her neighbor. What she didn’t know then is that talk would inspire the next phase of her life. From our public radio partners at WXXI in Rochester, James Brown has the story.


Thomas O'Neil-White

Expand the Outer Harbor into a full state park is the message coming from the Partnership for the Public Good and a dozen other local groups who make up the Our Harbor Coalition. The Partnership released a report Monday, detailing a full analysis of the why a state park is best for the land.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

New York State is working through its Parks 2020 plan, a $900 million shopping list of renovations and improvements for the state's vast network of parks. Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey says it is working and why parks attendance has risen from 57 million to 69 million this year.

Brian Mann / NCPR

Drones are more popular than ever before. The small remote-controlled aircraft can take photographs and shoot video and they are getting easier and easier to use.

However, drones are also more and more controversial. Critics say their buzzing propellers are an unwelcome intrusion in wild lands that are meant to feel remote and natural.

New York State is now trying to figure out when and where these tiny aircraft should be allowed on public lands.

John Morocco

The ash tree is one of the most impressive trees in a forest, park or along a city street. They also have been an essential part of the American sports scene, as the wood in most baseball bats. Now, the trees are known for their stumps.

nysparks.com

New Yorkers resolved to having a healthier new year could get a step ahead Wednesday with a special hiking program at some of the region's state parks. Guided First Day Hikes are planned at 23 state parks and historic sites, including Letchworth, Allegany and Fort Niagara.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

A State Supreme Court decision will remove the ban on outdoor smoking in some venues.

Visitors to New York State's parks may soon be limited in where they can smoke, with restrictions going into effect now.

The new restrictions aren't quite visible because the signs are only now being installed.

They will go around playgrounds, pools, beaches and food and beverage concessions.

Western District Director Mark Thomas says the restrictions reflect fewer smokers and decisions about the health effects on those who smoke and those who are around tobacco users.

He says the signs going up will show symbols rather than words.