Governor Hochul announces 2024 New York State Parks Centennial Challenge

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a year-long celebratory challenge that all New York State residents and visitors can participate in to explore our state parks, learn about New York history, and give back to New York State Parks for the next generation of adventurers. Set to begin on January 1, 2024, the New York State Parks Centennial Challenge includes 100 missions that can be completed at various state parks and historic sites. Participants will need to complete 24 missions throughout 2024 to complete the challenge. 

“There is so much to do within our vast state park system, and the Centennial Challenge is a great way to introduce New Yorkers and visitors, alike, to our historic and awe-inspiring properties for 2024’s 100th anniversary celebration,” Governor Hochulsaid. ”Our park system is an incredible place to visit year-round, and the Centennial Challenge is a great activity for all who are resolving to have a fun and adventurous New Year.” 

The Centennial Challenge is part of a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of New York’s statewide park and historic site system. The celebration will both highlight and build upon one of New York State’s greatest environmental legacies. In 1924, Governor Alfred E. Smith and the State Legislature created the New York State Council of Parks while voters approved a $15 million Bond Act to build and enlarge a network of state parks, forging the New York State Park and Historic Site system that New York State residents and visitors know and cherish today. 

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “The Centennial Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to experience the unparalleled opportunities for outdoor recreation, culture and education that are available in the New York State Park system. You may already have a favorite park or a favorite activity, but there is more for everyone to see and do—be it locally or around the state. I encourage residents and visitors alike to take up the Challenge to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy these amazing places.” 

The Challenge is designed to be completed by people of all abilities and can be finished by visiting parks and historic sites across the state or keeping with one that’s close to home. 

Some example Centennial Challenge “missions” include: Go camping at one of more than 8,500 campsites; visit a “new-to-you” state park or historic site and bring a picnic; pack your skates and go skating at one of state parks’ ice rinks; talk to an interpreter about the history of a state historic site; join a volunteer event; learn the Leave No Trace principles and apply them during your next visit.

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