Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


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New! Interested in learning more about your favorite animals? Do you want to find great wildlife viewing areas near you? Visit the Watchable Wildlife website for fascinating information about animals you might see on your next visit to your favorite park.

The mission of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation integrates the following objectives: to provide safe and enjoyable recreational and interpretive opportunities for all New York State residents and visitors and to be responsible stewards of our valuable natural, historic and cultural resources. The agency is responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing these resources for public enjoyment today and into the future.

The OPRHP Environmental Management Bureau assists in responsible stewardship of natural resources. The bureau assists in protecting outdoor resources such as water and land; plants and animals; the environmental health and safety of patrons and employees; and in ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

With more than 225 diverse properties across the state, the agency offers visitors a variety of campgrounds, swimming beaches, golf courses, swimming pools, nature centers and more than 1400 miles of trails. Our properties are also home to a variety of plant and animal life that occur naturally in these areas help to clean and protect our environment. Approximately 90% of state parks' property remain natural, with natural lakes, streams, rivers, ocean beaches and dunes, as well as scenic waterfalls, gorges, springs and bluffs. Learn more about how biodiversity brings important environmental services to our parks and communities.

Our state parks and historic sites are also hosts to scenic viewsheds, geologic features and both common and rare flora and fauna. Over 100 species of native mammals, tens of thousands of species of insects, hundreds of fish species, 70 species of amphibians and more than 300 species of birds find a home in New York. To learn more about the abundance of natural resources to be found at our parks, be sure to visit one of our nature centers.

Responsible stewardship strives for a balance between public use and protection of all resources. In this effort, the agency assures the continuation and enhancement of common and rare species, as well as natural communities, for present and future generations to enjoy.