By Senator Patty Ritchie
New York State parks and historic sites offer a wealth of recreational activities for residents and tourists alike.
This is especially true in the summer months, when nearly 70 million people visit state parks across New York State, including more than four million in Central and Northern New York, for everything from boating and camping to fishing and hiking.
State parks and recreational areas are the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of our region, but they play a critical role in helping people understand the importance of getting outside and becoming more physically active.
Communities across the country and right here in our state continue to battle obesity, and the diseases associated with it, every day, at every age range.
Studies show that 30 percent of American adults do not go outside over the course of a day.
As the deputy vice-chair of the Senate Health Committee, I continue to look for ways to help people participate more in outdoor activities.
Recently, I was proud to have delivered special state funding for community and school playgrounds across Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.
These investments will help children take a break from technology, get outside, get active and interact with their peers.
In addition, last year, a measure I sponsored (S.3019) was signed into law that calls for the Commissioners of Health and Environmental Conservation to promote and encourage outdoor recreation and environmental education for kids across the state, including programs at our state parks.
From swimming and boating, to playgrounds and picnics, there is a lot to appreciate and enjoy in our state parks and historic sites.
To learn more about the state parks in our area, visit my website at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.