ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Nice weather and closure of popular hangouts have New Yorkers getting out and enjoying nature. New York Forest Ranger Captain John Streiff says there’s been an increase in visitors to the state’s many parks and trails.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Captain Streiff says the Rangers came up with a plan to keep everyone safe, especially during search and rescue missions. He says he feels visitors have been using common sense and being cautious while utilizing state parks/trails.
“I think we tried to stay ahead of the curve as best we could with so many things changing with COVID-19 and since then we’ve seen a lot more people out and about recreating outdoors,” says Captain Streiff.
Captain Streiff says there’s been an increase in incidences corresponding to the increase in visitors but not a big surge in them.
As the state moves into summer, Captain Streiff wants to remind park/trail visitors it’s important to follow the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) guidelines. He also encourages visitors to continue social distancing and to have a mask available at all times.
“We’re glad to see people out and that they have something to do, that they have an outlet. Obviously, getting outdoors is healthy for individuals and for families,” says Captain Streiff.
Indoor visiting/education centers and playgrounds remain closed at state parks. For more information about DEC recommendations for visitors including beach and hiking safety visit their website.
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