NEW YORK – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the grand opening of new $4.5 million visitor facilities at Hallock State Park Preserve in Suffolk County. The new facilities provide public access to the 225-acre park on the North Fork of Long Island for the first time since the park was acquired by the state in 2003. As part of the Governor’s NY Parks 2020 initiative, this project is helping to revitalize the state park system and expand access to outdoor recreation.
“Hallock State Park Preserve is one of the region’s top outdoor destinations, attracting visitors from across the state to experience the pristine beauty of Long Island,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the opening of these new park facilities, I encourage residents and travelers to visit the Long Island Sound this summer, enjoy outdoor recreation and trails, and experience some of the most beautiful views found on Eastern Long Island.”
The new facilities include:
A Visitor Center: The 3,000-square-foot center features a lobby with educational displays, a community meeting room, bathrooms, and park office.
Two New Parking Areas: The parking areas, which are located near the visitor center on Sound Avenue and in the northern area of the park near the bluffs and trails, feature environmentally friendly, pervious pavement.
A Sustainable Design: The new facilities are energy efficient and include a sustainable design, featuring geo-thermal heating and cooling in the visitor center. A nitrogen-reducing sanitary wastewater treatment system serves the restroom to protect water quality, and high-efficiency LED lighting and solar power generation have been installed.
New Trails: Hiking and equestrian trails are open, as well as public access to a one-mile stretch of undeveloped state-owned beach, scenic bluffs, hoodoos and Hallock Pond.
Hallock is designated a Park Preserve – the park system’s highest level of protection –to limit the type and intensity of uses and will help protect park resources now and in the future. The passive use park will offer woodland trails, saltwater fishing and hand-powered boating on Long Island Sound, scuba-diving and horseback riding. Trail connects to the Hallock Museum Farm will help foster visitor’s appreciation of the North Fork’s agricultural heritage.
“The long-awaited opening of Hallock State Park Preserve is other example of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to expanding outdoor recreation while preserving New York’s spectacular environment,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “Long Islanders and visitors finally can enjoy the unparalleled beauty of this open space for now and for generations to come.”
Funding for the project includes $2.5 million from Governor Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 initiative, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The 2017-18 state budget includes $120 million toward this initiative. The Natural Heritage Trust provided $2 million from the proceeds of a donation by the Trust for Public Land, which helped orchestrate the purchase of 525 acres from KeySpan Energy to create the park while returning 300 adjacent acres to active agricultural production. The donation also helped create an endowment to assist with park operations.
“Having grown up and still residing here, I have long known the singular beauty and the rich agricultural history of the North Fork,” said Chair of the Long Island State Park Commission Bryan Erwin. “Before today, we didn’t have a state park to share with our fellow New Yorkers and now thanks to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Rose Harvey we have a true jewel in Hallock State Park Preserve. Together their continued dedication and commitment to the betterment of our state park system is ensuring these treasured resources will be experienced by generations to come.
Senator Kenneth LaValle said, “The opening of Hallock State Park brings a tremendous opportunity to residents of the First Senate District. The unique environmental and geological site offers hiking, walking and educational opportunities for everyone to learn about this beautiful property and the history of the area. There were many people and organizations involved well over a decade in making this park a reality. The Hallock State Park is a welcome addition to the East End.”
Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, “The new Hallock State Park Preserve visitor facilities are state-of-the-art, energy efficient and truly showcase the natural beauty that New York has to offer. Its features include hiking trails, a pond, scenic bluffs and a pristine, one mile long beach to highlight the natural assets of the North Fork. This State Park will draw more tourists to the area and help advance the economy. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for all of your hard work to preserve New York’s outstanding natural areas.”
Assemblymember Fred Thiele Jr. said, “The Hallock State Park Preserve is a prime example of Governor Cuomo’s outstanding efforts to preserve New York’s finest nature destinations. The new visitor center and trails will be a treasured attraction in our community. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to seeing this project through to completion.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “Here in Suffolk County we are always looking for ways to preserve our regions open spaces and promote our world class parks and beaches that so many residents and visitors enjoy each year. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his continued leadership investing in our region by providing Long Islanders with State-of-the-Art recreational amenities such as Hallock State Park.”
Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski said, “Opening Hallock State Park Preserve reflects the history of the area and the Hallock family, who owned the property for centuries and is the last piece of this momentous preservation effort. In preserving this historic property, New York State has done a tremendous job protecting the east ends natural resources including the preservation of productive farmland as well as hundreds of acres of natural lands. I applaud Governor Cuomo and Senator LaValle for their resolve in bringing this to conclusion.”
Carter Strickland, New York State Director of The Trust for Public Land, said, “The natural beauty on the North Fork of Long Island is something to behold and providing greater access at Hallock State Park Preserve is allowing our communities to better connect with what makes this part of New York State so magnificent and unique. The Trust for Public Land is honored to have collaborated with Governor Cuomo and State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey to further ensure these healthy, livable communities remain vibrant through the connection to the outdoors.”