Outdoor Pavilion Supports Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative to Connect New Yorkers with Nature
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the official opening of the new outdoor pavilion at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) in Mt. Tremper, town of Shandaken. The completion of the project was announced during a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. The improvements are a part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature.
DEC Commissioner Seggos said, "New York is home to peerless natural resources that are the envy of the nation. DEC is committed to helping New Yorkers and visitors alike make the most of these resources and their time outdoors by ensuring nature is accessible to everyone. Funded by Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative, the Catskill Interpretive Center's new pavilion will help make nature more accessible to visitors to this special place."
The newly constructed outdoor pavilion will provide the public with a picnicking location, venue for educational programs, and a place for groups to meet up and begin their Catskill adventures.
Located in Ulster County, the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center serves as a gateway for outdoor enthusiasts to learn about the Catskill Park. The center showcases the Catskills' natural resources and recreational opportunities by providing information about the 700,000-acre park, New York City's one million-acre Catskill/Delaware drinking watershed, and ways to recreate and enjoy these treasured natural resources.
The overall pavilion space is 1,762 square feet, including 234 square feet of enclosed storage space. The structure was constructed with an exposed laminated arch beam with stone fascia on posts. The enclosure walls were designed to complement the existing CIC building. The pavilion includes interior and exterior lighting and electrical convenience outlets. The pavilion was recently completed by Maeda Construction Inc. from Staatsburg, New York, at a cost of $282,828. Funding was provided by the state's Environmental Protection Fund. DEC staff constructed 12 tables to be used with the pavilion.
Under Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. This initiative supports the completion of more than 75 projects over the next three years ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Read more about the Adventure NY initiative (PDF, 10.57 MB).
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "Attractions like the new Catskill Interpretive Center and others available throughout New York State are critical to securing and strengthening our place as a leader in America's outdoor recreation industry. These centers go a long way in showcasing and protecting the quality of New York's natural resources."
Senator James L. Seward said, "The new Catskill Interpretive Center is helping highlight all the Catskills has to offer - drawing new explorers to the region and offering area families and residents with yet another terrific outdoor resource. As we approach the summer tourist season, the new outdoor pavilion will offer one more reason for visitors to add a stop in Shandaken to their Catskill Park itinerary."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "This new Center will be a great resource for New Yorkers and visitors alike. It will connect people with nature, forming bonds that create environmental stewards and encourage the conservation of our valuable lands in perpetuity. The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretative Center will stand as a lasting legacy to one of the giants in the history of NYS environmental conservation who was both a State Assemblyman and later the Congressional representative of the area."
"The Interpretive Center is a proud representation of the life and legacy of Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey. The Center has already developed a distinguished reputation by serving as both a physical and virtual gateway to the Catskills. Each day the Center provides visitors with a fully immersive educational experience and the tools they need to safely explore the region. The addition of the outdoor pavilion will continue to enhance the facility and ensure access to the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of the region. Thank you to the Department of Environmental Conservation whose work helped make this project a reality and the staff of the Catskill Center who carry on Maurice's legacy through the Center each day," said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein said, "The Catskill Park is one of the driving forces in Ulster County's half-billion dollar annual tourism industry, and the Catskill Interpretive Center is helping create an even better experience for visitors who flock to the mountains, lakes and streams of Ulster County each year. I applaud Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos for their ongoing efforts to protect our environment while promoting opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities to experience the raw beauty of this spectacular mountain destination."
Robert A. Stanley, Supervisor, Town of Shandaken, said, "The Town of Shandaken is thankful for New York State's continuing investment for improvements at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center. The new pavilion will provide an opportunity for more visitors and residents to enjoy the outdoors be it for events or for a simple picnic. We look forward to the opportunities this improvement will afford us."
"The opening of the new pavilion represents another step in the development of the Catskill Interpretive Center site, first started many years ago when Representative Maurice D. Hinchey called for the creation of a visitor center for the Catskill Park. The Catskill Center is honored to have such a strong partnership with the NYSDEC at the CIC to realize Representative Hinchey's dream for the Catskills. We look forward to the strengthening of this partnership and the growth of the CIC as we look towards the installation of new exhibits later this year and a Fire Tower next year. These collective efforts all help interpret the Catskills for tens of thousands of visitors and residents alike and offers a true gateway to the outdoor recreation and communities of the Catskill Park," said Jeff Senterman, Executive Director, Catskill Center.
For more information on the Catskill Forest Preserve, including park maps, guides and links to the CIC, visit DEC's website.