Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) announced that the 2021-2022 state budget includes funding for the Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs) at Paul Smith College and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Jones advocated for a funding increase for the VICs due to their educational and recreational importance to the colleges and the Adirondack region.
“These centers not only offer information about the natural history of the Adirondack region, but also provide a safe and educational activity for visitors to the region, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year,” Assemblyman Jones said. “I’ve long fought for additional funding for these centers, and I’m happy to see that they weren’t left behind in this year’s budget.”
The VICs are operated by the two colleges in the Adirondack town of Newcomb and hamlet of Paul Smiths. They act as educational recreation centers to both locals and the estimated seven million annual visitors to the region. The budget’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) allocates a total of $300,000 to the VICs – $120,000 for SUNY ESF and $180,000 for Paul Smith College – to assist in continuing their services.