Cuts Force Closures and Reduced Hours at State Parks

New Yorkers who may want to spend a summer afternoon in a state park will have fewer options this year. Officials are closing or reducing hours for 41 state parks and 14 historical sites starting today, two parks in the city will be affected:

Harlem residents will no longer be able to swim in the pool at Riverbank State Park. It'll be closed this summer. And the Park's senior classes and community and cultural events will also be canceled. The rest of Riverbank park will be operating on reduced hours in an effort to save the state money.

Bayswater Point State Park in Jamaica Bay Queens will be shut down entirely. The group "New York City Park Advocates" says it's unconscionable to close or limit access to parks in the city which has little open space. And worse to close a public pool.

The closures are the result of the $11.3-million of parks funding Governor Paterson cut from his proposed budget. And the money is not included in the state's spending plans. The Legislature, which returns to work today, would have to agree on a spending plan to restore the money.