Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 18, 2024

Fred Bonn, Regional Director, OPRHP Finger Lakes 607-387-7041 ext. 107 Fred.Bonn@Parks.NY.Gov

Finger Lakes State Parks Centennial Exhibit Commemorates 100 Years of Iconic Public Lands and Stewardship

Exhibit at History Center of Tompkins County Honors Legacy of Robert H. Treman

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) unveiled an interactive exhibit that allows outdoors enthusiasts and nature lovers to learn more about the history and local impact of the State Parks and Historic Sites across the Finger Lakes Region. The exhibit, located at the History Center of Tompkins County, coincides with the agency's year-long Centennial celebration, and includes a special focus on Robert H. Treman, the first chair of the Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Commission.

"For over 100 years, our Finger Lakes region has provided millions of visitors unique recreational activities and educational opportunities," said OPRHP Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons. "The groundwork for these gorgeous locations was laid in the 1920s by Robert Treman and his fellow Regional Commissioners, and we are forever grateful for their foresight and contributions to the area. Our exhibit allows visitors a chance to see the transformative power that state parks and Robert Treman have had on Tompkins County and the surrounding counties, as well as to inspire them to continue trekking through these sites for another century."

Visitors to the exhibit will find several interactive displays with entertaining facts regarding Finger Lakes state parks and historic sites and the New York State Parks system. They will also see important artifacts from the region's history, such as items excavated from Robert H. Treman State Park and original park signage dating to the 1920s.

A businessman, philanthropist, and conservationist, Treman served as the first Finger Lakes State Parks Regional Commissioner. Born in Ithaca, Treman donated hundreds of acres of land that would become Taughannock Falls, Robert H. Treman (formerly Enfield Glen) and Buttermilk Falls State Parks, among other sites throughout the region. His tenure would also see the opening of Fillmore Glen, Cayuga Lake, Fair Haven Beach, and Stony Brook State Parks.

The exhibit will be on display at the History Center of Tompkins County through 2024. The Center is located at 110 North Tioga Street, on the Ithaca Commons and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact the History Center at 607-273-8284 or visit their website:

David Banfield, Chairman of the Finger Lakes Regional Commission, said, "I've been a fan of State Parks since I was a kid. I grew up across the street from Fillmore Glen State Park, and worked at Robert Treman and Taughannock Falls as lifeguard when I was a teen. As a Commissioner for over 15 years, I am proud of the staff and the work they do every day to keep our parks safe and enjoyable for the public."

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 84 million visits in 2023. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer app or call 518.474.0456. Join us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on FacebookInstagramX (formerly Twitter), and the OPRHP Blog.