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New York Promotes Responsibility At State Parks This Summer

hiking
Image by Hermann Traub from Pixabay
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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a campaign to encourage residents to take advantage of state parks and beaches to practice sustainable recreation this summer.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said this initiative was launched in response to the record number of people taking advantage of the outdoors during the pandemic. The idea this year is for visitors to help keep state parks and beaches clean while providing an outlet for New Yorkers to appreciate the outdoors.

“We were all locked indoors; the outdoors became a place where we could find refuge and we did it in record numbers,” Seggos said. “We as an agency, we were there — even during the pandemic — we were there for you. We tried to make the experience as excellent as possible,” Seggos said.

The “Love Our NY Lands” campaign will include in-person education at trailheads in the Adirondacks and Catskills during the hiking season.

Seggos also encourages visitors to follow "Leave No Trace” to promote ways to keep the outdoors clean and reduce the impact of pollution.

“We draw from their education from their resources but we also help to spread their message and educate people about what they’re trying to get out there,” said Eileen Mowrey, a master educator at “Leave No Trace.”

She said New Yorkers can help leave no trace by:

  • Planning ahead and preparing
  • Traveling and camping on durable surfaces
  • Disposing of waste properly
  • Leaving what they find
  • Minimizing campfire impacts
  • Respecting wildlife