OXFORD – Closing Chenango County’s two state parks may add a few cents back into the state’s bottom line, but the question Audrey Robinson is asking is what it will mean for the local economy.
“I am pushing for Bowman Lake and Hunt’s Pond to stay open,” said Robinson, who serves as Chenango’s director of tourism.
According to Robinson, more than 63,000 people visit Bowman Lake State Park in McDonough and Hunt’s Pond State Park in New Berlin. Some of those visitors, she said, are local residents for whom the parks are part of the quality of life in the area. Others are visitors from outside the area, who help support the local economy communities surrounding the park by shopping at local stores, filling up their gas tank and dining at a local restaurant.
“The investment in State Parks is a good one; for every dollar the state spends on parks, it gets back $5 dollars in economic activity,” Robinson reported. That economic activity supports as many as 20,000 non-park jobs across the state, she added.