The program is funded by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation with a $ 860,000 grant to the Natural Heritage Trust.
BUFFALO, NY – A new program is underway to improve access to state parks in WNY.
Ladders to the Outdoors, launched Friday by the Natural Heritage Trust and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to help develop free recreational programs and classes for teenagers in state parks. Registration for the program is now possible.
“Involving young people in parks and recreational activities will help develop a lifelong love of nature. I am so grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation for recognizing the importance of this fact and helping us reach the communities in need, ”said Erik Kulleseid, New York State Office of Parks commissioner, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
These courses focus on activities such as guided hiking, fishing, biking, kayaking, swimming, and sporting activities. Grants will also fund the procurement of equipment to make these courses possible. The money will also be used to equip several state park playgrounds with accessible play equipment.
The $ 860,000 grant will fund the programs for three years.
“Not only does outdoor recreation have a positive impact on health, it creates a future generation of park and trail users and stewards,” said Jim Boyle, vice president of programs and communications, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “By removing barriers to entry to these facilities, we can continue to support healthy and active lifestyles for the youth and families of Western New York.”
Transportation to the parks is provided through a partnership with the New York State Connect Kids to Parks program.
Those interested in registering should contact the Outdoors Coordinator [email protected] to find out more about the program and event planning.