Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation


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Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship (FORCES)

The FORCES Program was launched in 2008 in our Central Region with the intention of boosting and growing volunteerism within New York State Parks. The program creates opportunities for a wide range of mutually beneficial partnerships that enhance State Parks while simultaneously providing students real world experiences and the opportunity to further their academic programs, gain valuable resume experience, and develop personal connections to New York State Parks.

FORCES' presence is currently concentrated and most active with students, faculty and institutions in the Central and Finger Lakes Regions and is looking to expand to other areas of the state.

Mission & Program Goals

Engage New York State college students to simultaneously improve OPRHP resources and enrich student academic, recreational and career opportunities.

Primary Program Goals

  • Harness student expertise, volunteer and service efforts to create meaningful park and natural resource improvement projects and to enhance patron experience.
  • Support and nurture the interest of college students in environmental conservation, recreation and historic preservation activities and careers.
  • Increase awareness of, and engagement with New York State parks among college students and college communities.

While FORCES continues to evolve, the program is defined by the following elements:

Friends: Engaging new and interesting experiences, with a willingness to help improve their local parks and historic sites, through projects and programs they can feel good about.

Recreation: Increasing awareness of different forms of and ways to recreate, and improvement and maintenance projects; that enhance hiking, sporting activities in NYS Parks, including golf, swimming, baseball/softball, mountain biking, skiing, playgrounds, etc.

Conservation: Conserving and protecting the rich heritage and culture found in NYS historic sites and unique areas. Activities could include archiving, historical research, program creation, guiding historical tours, staffing museums and libraries, and participating in capital improvement projects at historic sites.

Environmental Stewardship: Involves environmental projects and education that benefit the parks, including invasive species management, plant and wildlife protection, water quality assessment, litter pickups, and trail improvements. In addition, park staff can utilize FORCES vast knowledge and professional expertise for biology and ecology in regard to designing and implementing environmental education programs and events.

FORCES Newsletter

FORCES Steward Biographies


Watch videos about the FORCES team

FORCES Resources

For more information about FORCES, please contact:
Amy Kochem
FORCES Program Coordinator
office: (315) 967-4092