Friends of Point au Roche State Park
Facebook: Save Point au Roche!
BEEKMANTOWN — The fight for Point au Roche State Park has begun.
Point au Roche, Macomb Reservation State Park in Schuyler Falls and the John Brown Farm in Lake Placid are among 41 parks and 14 historic sites recommended for closure by the state Office of Parks and Recreation.
The closures, announced Friday, are meant to address the office's proposed $29 million budget cut and are set to start April 1.
Mary Simmers, president of the board of directors of Friends of Point au Roche State Park, said that group is trying to determine the best way to approach the issue.
"We have to jump on this as soon as possible," she said.
The board's next meeting is March 20 at 10 a.m. at the Plattsburgh City Library. She said Kevin Kieff, regional director for the parks office, has expressed interest in attending the meeting.
Simmers would like to see information such as how much money the move will save, who will conduct maintenance and whether the rest rooms would be closed. She said there are only four full-time employees responsible for the two parks and Cumberland Head State Park, augmented by a number of seasonal, part-time employees.
"Are they taking the (New York State) Park Police away?" she asked.
Simmers said she knows what will happen if that's the case.
"It will deteriorate rapidly," she said.
Simmers said Macomb and Cumberland Head are more for camping, and locals are unlikely to camp so close by. Point au Roche is a tremendous resource for the community, with a public beach, 60 moorings, nature, hiking and biking trails and picnic facilities.
"Day in and day out, for people who want to walk their dog or use the beach, Point au Roche State Park is the place," she said.