We often wonder what’s in our parks (How many hawks nest here? Are there any foxes? What about snakes?), but what about who’s in our parks? The Alliance for New York State Parks has an answer on that second question for Lake Welch, in Harriman State Park.
On Monday the group released the results of a “visitor demographic study” conducted by its parent organization, the Open Space Institute. According to the Alliance, Lake Welch is a “celebration of diversity with strong ties to New York City” that attracts 400,000 visitors annually.
According to the report, three-quarters of those visitors (74 percent) are Hispanic, 14 percent are white and 7 percent are African-American. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) come from the Bronx, while 20 percent come from New Jersey. Although Harriman is in Rockland and Orange counties, only 10 percent of visitors are Rocklanders. For comparison’s sake, 8 percent are from Westchester (the report is mum on the number of visitors from Putnam).
“This study confirms that state parks are relevant and needed by people from across many geographic and ethnic constituencies,” Erik Kulleseid, executive director of the Alliance, said in a news release. “Lake Welch, with its swimming beach, picnic areas and tremendous natural beauty, clearly fills a need for families to relax, have fun and get away from city-life.”
For more details on the report, click here.