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State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational potential. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U.S. state, some of the Mexican states, and in Brazil. The term is also used in the Australian state of Victoria.The equivalent term used in Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Belgium, is provincial park. Similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries, but the terminology varies.
A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or planted space set aside for human enjoyment and recreation or for the protection of wildlife or natural habitats. Urban parks are green spaces set aside for recreation inside towns and cities. National parks and Country parks are green spaces used for recreation in the countryside. State parks and Provincial parks are administered by sub-national government states and agencies. Parks may consist of grassy areas, rocks, soil and trees, but may also contain buildings and other artifacts such as monuments, fountains or playground structures. Many parks have fields for playing sports such as soccer, baseball and football, and paved areas for games such as basketball. Many parks have trails for walking, biking and other activities. Some parks are built adjacent to bodies of water or watercourses and may comprise a beach or boat dock area. Urban parks often have benches for sitting and may contain picnic tables and barbecue grills.
Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
State parks are thus similar to national parks, but under state rather than federal administration. Similarly, local government entities below state level may maintain parks, e.g., regional parks or county parks. In general, state parks are smaller than national parks, with a few exceptions such as the Adirondack Park in New York and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California.
A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of 'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. An international organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), has defined "National Park" as its Category II type of protected areas.
A local government is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state. The term is used to contrast with offices at state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government and also to supranational government which deals with governing institutions between states. Local governments generally act within powers delegated to them by legislation or directives of the higher level of government. In federal states, local government generally comprises the third tier of government, whereas in unitary states, local government usually occupies the second or third tier of government, often with greater powers than higher-level administrative divisions.
A regional park is an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreational use or other reason, and under the administration of a form of local government.
As of 2014 [update] , there were 10,234 state park units in the United States, according to the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD). There are some 739 million annual visits to the country's state parks. The NASPD further counts over 43,000 miles (69,000 km) of trail, 217,367 campsites, and 8,277 cabins and lodges across U.S. state parks. The largest state park system in the United States is Alaska State Parks, with over 100 sites encompassing 3.3 million acres.
National Association of State Park Directors is an organization dedicated to the preservation of state parks in the United States.
Many states include designations beyond "state park" in their state parks systems. Other designations might be state recreation areas, state beaches, and state nature reserves. Some state park systems include long-distance trails and historic sites.
A recreation area is a type of protected area designated in some jurisdictions. In the United States, National Recreation Areas are administered by several different agencies. They typically do not meet the strict guidelines to become national parks. In U.S. state park systems, recreation areas may also fail to meet some criteria to be designated state parks, such as having a large number of non-contiguous properties. Size is not necessarily a defining criterion. For instance, in Michigan, the largest state recreation area, Waterloo Recreation Area is 20,500-acre (83 km2) while the smallest state park is the 31-acre (0.13 km2) Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor.
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research. Nature reserves may be designated by government institutions in some countries, or by private landowners, such as charities and research institutions, regardless of nationality. Nature reserves fall into different IUCN categories depending on the level of protection afforded by local laws. Normally it is more strictly protected than a nature park.
Historic site or Heritage site is an official location where pieces of political, military, cultural, or social history have been preserved due to their cultural heritage value. Historic sites are usually protected by law, and many have been recognized with the official national historic site status. A historic site may be any building, landscape, site or structure that is of local, regional, or national significance.
The title of oldest state park in the United States is claimed by Niagara Falls State Park in New York, established in 1885.However several public parks previously or currently maintained at the state level pre-date it. Indian Springs State Park has been operated continuously by the state of Georgia as a public park since 1825, although it did not gain the title "State Park" until 1931. In 1864 Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove were ceded by the federal government to California until Yosemite National Park was proclaimed in 1890. In 1878 Wisconsin set aside a vast swath of its northern forests as "The State Park" but, needing money, sold most of it to lumber companies within 20 years. The first state park with the designation of "state park" was Mackinac Island State Park in 1895, which was first a national park before being transferred to the state of Michigan.
Niagara Falls State Park is a state park in the City of Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York, United States. The park, recognized as the oldest state park in the United States, contains the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and a portion of the Horseshoe Falls.
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city in the state with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State.
Indian Springs State Park is a 528-acre (2.14 km²) Georgia state park located near Jackson and Flovilla. The park is named for its several springs, which the Creek Indians used for centuries to heal the sick. The water from these springs is said to have a sulfur smell and taste. Indian Springs is thought to be the oldest state park in the nation. It was acquired from the Creek Indians by the state through the Treaty of Indian Springs (1825) and the Treaty of Washington (1826). Thereafter, Indian Springs has been operated continuously by the state as a public park, although it did not gain the title "State Park" until 1931. The area became a resort town in the 19th century. It became an official "State Forest Park" in 1927. In 1931, along with Vogel State Park, it became a founding unit of Georgia's state park system.
Many state park systems date to the 1930s, when around 800 state parks across the country were developed with assistance from federal job creation programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of the agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner's death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 per month.
The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.
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The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.
Whirlpool State Park is a 109-acre (0.44 km2) state park located in Niagara County, New York, north of the city of Niagara Falls. The park overlooks the Niagara Whirlpool on the Niagara River and the lower Niagara Gorge.
Fort Niagara State Park is located in the Town of Porter in Niagara County, New York, United States. Historic Fort Niagara is located within the park. The 504-acre (2.04 km2) park is northwest of Youngstown near the northern terminus of the Robert Moses State Parkway and is in the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.
Devil's Hole State Park is a 42-acre (17 ha) state park located in Niagara County, New York, north of the City of Niagara Falls. The day-use park overlooks the lower Niagara River Gorge.
Joseph Davis State Park is a 388-acre (1.57 km2) state park located along the banks of the lower Niagara River in the Town of Lewiston in Niagara County, New York.
The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a prominent waterfall, 77 feet (23 m) high, on the Passaic River in the city of Paterson in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. The falls and surrounding area are protected as part of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, administered by the National Park Service. The Congress authorized its establishment in 2009.
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state, tribal and local level authorities and receive widely varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation. As of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2 (499,800 sq mi), or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is also one-tenth of the protected land area of the world. The U.S. also had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2 (490,893 sq mi), or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States.
Reservoir State Park is a 132-acre (0.53 km2) state park located in the town of Lewiston in Niagara County, New York, United States. The park is situated on the south shore of the Robert Moses Power Plant Reservoir, north of the city of Niagara Falls.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) is a state agency within the New York State Executive Department charged with the operation of state parks and historic sites within the U.S. state of New York. As of 2014, the NYS OPRHP manages nearly 335,000 acres of public lands and facilities, including 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, that are visited by over 62 million visitors each year.
Chenango Valley State Park is a 1,137-acre (4.60 km2) state park located in Broome County, New York in the United States. The park is located adjacent to the Chenango River in western part of the Town of Fenton.
Gilbert Lake State Park is a 1,584-acre (6.41 km2) state park in Otsego County, New York, United States. Most of the park is in the Town of New Lisbon, in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains east of the community of New Lisbon and north of Oneonta. Gilbert Lake and Lake of the Twin Fawns are located within the park.
This list is intended to be a complete compilation of properties and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Rensselaer County, New York, United States. Seven of the properties are further designated National Historic Landmarks.
Swallow Falls State Park is a public recreation area located on the west bank of the Youghiogheny River 9 miles (14 km) north of Oakland in Garrett County, Maryland, in the United States. The state park features Maryland's highest free-falling waterfall, the 53-foot (16 m) Muddy Creek Falls, as well as smaller waterfalls on the Youghiogheny River and Tolivar Creek. The park is notable for its stand of old hemlock trees, some more than 300 years old, "the last stand of its kind in Maryland."
Silver Falls State Park is a state park in the U.S. state of Oregon, located near Silverton, about 20 miles (32 km) east-southeast of Salem. It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres (36 km2), and it includes more than 24 miles (39 km) of walking trails, 14 miles (23 km) of horse trails, and a 4-mile (6.4 km) bike path. Its 8.7-mile (14.0 km) Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name. Four of the ten falls have an amphitheater-like surrounding that allows the trail to pass behind the flow of the falls. The Silver Falls State Park Concession Building Area and the Silver Creek Youth Camp-Silver Falls State Park are separately listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
High Cliff State Park is a 1,187-acre (480 ha) Wisconsin state park near Sherwood, Wisconsin. It is the only state-owned recreation area located on Lake Winnebago. The park got its name from cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment, a land formation east of the shore of Lake Winnebago that stretches north through northeast Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, and Ontario to Niagara Falls and New York State.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Duluth Vessel Yard is a federal port facility in Duluth, Minnesota, United States. It houses the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) resources used to maintain the harbors of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, Wisconsin. It was established on Minnesota Point in 1903, though most of its present configuration dates to a flurry of construction in 1941.
De Veaux Woods State Park is a 51-acre (0.21 km2) state park located in Niagara County, New York, USA. The park is located off the Robert Moses State Parkway, north of the City of Niagara Falls. It is adjacent to Whirlpool State Park.