As summer begins, State Senator Patty Ritchie is calling on New York State to reopen the swimming beach at Oswego County’s Selkirk Shores State Park.
Due to budget cuts in 2010, before Senator Ritchie took office, the park’s swimming beach was closed, forcing visitors to travel 10 miles to Sandy Island, with no pedestrian trail linking the two parks.
“While Selkirk Shores boasts everything from hiking trails and camping sites to opportunities for fishing and boating, one of the things it no longer offers is a swimming beach,” said Senator Ritchie. “Tourism is a huge, job-creating engine in Oswego County and throughout the region I represent and it’s critically important that we make the necessary improvements keep people coming back. We have great potential here, and by reopening Selkirk Shores State Park’s swimming beach, we can draw more people to our region and allow them to experience all it has to offer.”
Last year, New York State Parks welcomed 60 million visitors statewide, with parks that have beaches and water access being the most popular. Since the closure of the swimming beach at Selkirk Shores, attendance at the park has dropped from 130,385 to 77,930 visitors annually.
In her letter, Senior Ritchie explains that cuts to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s budget in the 2010-2011 State Fiscal Year forced 57 State Parks and Historic Sites to close and 22 facilities to reduce services.
Since that time, many of the services cut at parks have been restored.
A copy of Senator Ritchie’s letter can be viewed on her website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov