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Tonko Announces $3 Million+ in Grants for Capital Region Parks

Awards from Land and Water Conservation Fund will support new trails, water & electric systems, & needed maintenance

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ALBANY, NY – Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced today the awarding of three grants totaling $3,086,565 from the National Park Service’s (NPS) Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to support critical upgrades at John Boyd Thacher State Park in Voorheesville and Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs.  These awards include $1,150,000 for wastewater improvements at Thacher State Park’s Thompson’s Lake Campground, $736,565 for new electric lines for comfort stations and pavilions at Thacher State Park, and $1,200,000 for major improvements to the Spa State Park’s Roosevelt Drive Corridor.

“Our parks and public lands are local treasures that hold cultural and historical significance for our region, all while serving as economic drivers for our communities,” Congressman Tonko said.  “This kind of federal support is critical not only to sustain the natural beauty of our Capital Region parks, but also to advance the cause of environmental justice by ensuring that low-income and underserved communities are able to access these vital local resources.  I’m proud to help deliver funding that helps maintain our public lands, and I’ll continue my fight to preserve and improve our wild spaces, parks, and waterways so that they may be cherished and enjoyed for generations to come.”

Congressman Tonko has long been a proponent of increased federal funding for parks and public lands here in our Capital Region and nationwide.  In 2020, Tonko fought successfully to advance and sign into law the Great American Outdoors Act, bipartisan legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund that supports local parks across our nation.  And as co-chair of the National Heritage Areas Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, Tonko introduced the National Heritage Area Act, a bill to improve the process for designating and maintaining National Heritage Areas like the Capital Region’s own Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.  Tonko also serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and its Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, which directly oversees the National Park Service, the National Heritage Areas program, and the LWCF.

Created by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides matching grants to state and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.  Since its inception, the fund has provided more than 40,000 grants to states and localities, supporting more than 29,000 projects to develop parks and recreational facilities in all 50 states.


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