Albany Proposes Closing Bayswater Point State Park, Cuts to Riverbank Park; 79 Other Sites Affected

As expected, the state has proposed closing or limiting services to a lot of state parks and historic sites is response to its "historic fiscal crisis."

The local damage is limited. Under the recommendations, the 12-acre Bayswater Point State Park in Jamaica Bay would close. And Riverbank State Park -- the one built on the sewage plant on the far west side of Harlem -- would reduce its opening hours, close its Olympic-size swimming pool, and eliminate its seniors classes and "community/cultural events." (We guess the rink is safe for now.)

But six parks on Long Island would close, and four others lose services. (Jones Beach would lose its west pool and its 4th of July fireworks!) It's even worse upstate; all told 81 parks, historic sites, or related facilities would be cut.

Just because they'd be closed doesn't mean you couldn't necessarily get into the park sites -- the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is reviewing the public access implications -- though under the circumstances you might get knifed or eaten by a bear.

The OPRHP is also considering lifting fees for such parks as remain open by $4 million.


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