Adirondack lawmakers and advocates are applauding the new state budget, which includes more than $100 million for projects in the park and $400 million for environmental protection across New York State.

The $229 billion state budget is the biggest in history. And it makes big investments in the Adirondacks. Tiffany Rae-Fisher leads the Adirondack Diversity Initiative, which got a boost in the budget, bringing its funding up to $420,000.

Rea-Fisher is thrilled with that news and with all the state funding coming to the Adirondacks.

“Your budget shows your values, so the fact that the state is valuing this region, not only from a place of recreation, but from a diversity perspective, safety perspective, education perspective- that means a lot,” said Rea-Fisher.

The budget also includes $2.1 million for the Timbuctoo Summer Climate and Careers Institute. That program will bring students up from New York City this summer and introduce them to the Adirondack wilderness.

Rea-Fisher said funding the Timbuctoo Institute is another key investment in diversifying the park and investing in its future.

“You can’t fight for something if you don’t love it, so getting people up here, people of color to fall in love with the Adirondacks so that they can be a critical part of this region moving forward is essential to the survival and this area being able to thrive,” said Rea-Fisher.

Listen to the full story on North Country Public Radio.