Proposal of the State Park

 In 1924, a multimillion dollar bill to improve the state parks system was on the table for the New York state legislature. At this point, the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce saw an important opportunity to officially preserve the scenic area surrounding Green and Round Lakes.  They took action to have the development of a state park in Fayetteville included as a provision in this bill.

the proposed green lakes state park

To do so, they recruited Henry R. Francis, a professor of recreational forestry at the New York State College of Forestry (now SUNY ESF), to speak on behalf of Fayetteville residents during a meeting of the State Park Planning Committee on February 1, 1924.  During this meeting, Francis presented a self-composed booklet entitled “A Few Photographs Illustrating the Character of the Proposed Green Lakes State Park,” shown above. This booklet used images to depict the beauty of the region, and also outlined the many reasons why the Green Lakes should become a distinct part of the state park program.  This booklet can be accessed in the local history room at Fayetteville Free Library, or you can click on the image above to flip through a digital version of the booklet. Francis' presentation persuaded legislators such as Senator George R. Fearson, who then incorporated provisions to buy the Green and Round Lake land tracks into the state park appropriation bill.