Even wildly popular parks like Jones Beach and Niagara Falls could be among the state parks facing closure due to funding cuts, officials tell the AP. Last year, 100 of New York's 178 state parks and 35 historic sites had to cut services and reduce hours. This year, closures are "unavoidable" because of a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. "It's going to be pretty bad. As bad as I've ever seen it," predicts Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks & Trails New York.
The Parks Department will see its funding reduced by some 40% over the span of three years, and in 2010 the system will operate with 1,100 fewer people. That means fewer life guards, cleaners, and park police. Even worse, the park police training academy will be suspended for the third straight year, leaving countless picnic baskets at the mercy of above-average bears.
And if you think this doesn't affect you because you spend all your time in city parks, think again: The Jelly NYC pool parties are held in East River Park, which is a state park, and eligible for closure. Without that positive recreational outlet on summer afternoons, Williamsburg's indie rock lovers will no doubt turn to drugs and alcohol on the sidewalks of Bedford Avenue. That's everybody's problem. Only Schumer can save us now.