Governor Cuomo announces $800,000 in smart growth grants for Adirondack Park and Catskill Park communities

Grants Support Economic Development, Tourism, Infrastructure Enhancements and Community Revitalization

Apply Here Through the NYS Grants Gateway

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of $800,000 in Environmental Protection Fund smart growth grants for Adirondack Park and Catskill Park communities and organizations. Organizations are encouraged to apply for grant funding for projects that support economic development, infrastructure enhancements and other initiatives to bolster the region's communities and organizations.

“The Adirondack and Catskill parks are home to unparalleled natural beauty, as well as unique challenges for the communities located within them,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will help these communities and local organizations develop and execute smart growth strategies to help them build on their strengths, and increase tourism and economic activity within their borders.”

Unlike other parks, the Adirondack and Catskill parks are composed of public parklands and private property and are home to thousands of residents and dozens of communities.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Under Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership, these grants will help realize key projects, actions, and strategies identified in plans developed by Adirondack and Catskill park communities in pursuit of smart growth. DEC's Smart Growth Implementation Grants Program is modeled after the national ‘smart growth’ movement and promotes growth that recognizes the link between economic development and protecting the natural and built environment.”

The funding includes $545,000 for the larger Adirondack Park and $260,000 to the Catskill Park. The grants will be focused on smart growth implementation projects that can include capital improvements, environmentally sound economic development, and organizational capacity-building to advance key projects. Focuses of the program include: enhancement of the tourism economy and related infrastructure; growth and revitalization within hamlets, villages, and town centers; and projects featuring park-wide and regional collaboration.

The two separate official Requests for Application are available through the NYS Grants Gateway. The Department of Environmental Conservation is also sending the RFA to more than 130 units of local governments and non-profit organizations in the parks. The Department of Environmental Conservation will again partner with the Department of State and the Adirondack Park Agency to carry out the program, building on the success of previous rounds of funding that focused on planning and implementation projects.

The deadline for both applications is 2:00 p.m. on March 31, 2017. The Department of Environmental Conservation anticipates announcing grant awards in June 2017.

The Adirondack Park is America's largest state park and one of its oldest state parks. Under Governor Cuomo, New York State's commitment to the park has never been stronger. The Department of Environmental Conservation is working with local officials and other stakeholders to improve the park’s economy and quality of life. Unlike traditional parks, the Adirondack Park is composed of about 50 percent private lands. It is home to 130,000 permanent residents, more than 115 municipal governments, and dozens of hamlets that define its character and culture. The Adirondack Park grants seek to capitalize on the collaborative efforts of communities and organizations in the park. Cooperation among Adirondack residents and regional organizations in the Common Ground Alliance and the Adirondack Partnership has created consensus around regional priorities. This is the fifth round of grants overall, and the third round of implementation grants in the Park.

The Catskill Park was created in the early 20th Century and also home to a portion of the New York City Reservoir system that delivers water to millions of New Yorkers daily. The Catskill Park is known as a superb tourist and outdoor recreational destination with picturesque hamlets. The Catskill Park Smart Growth Implementation Grants provide support for projects that empower Catskill communities to capitalize on their unique natural setting to improve community livability and economic vitality. Communities and local non-profit organizations are well-positioned to implement regional priorities such as rail trail development, tourism accommodation, and renewal of historic hamlets consistent with protecting the environment and enhancing recreational access. This is the fourth round of implementation grants in the Catskill Park.

Applicant instructions and resources are available on the DEC website at