Join the Friends Group Gateway, powered by Parks & Trails New York

Starting in 2024, memberships to the Friends Group Gateway will be FREE of charge!

The Gateway is Decades in the Making!

For nearly 40 years, Parks & Trails New York has been supporting Friends groups and similar champions of state parks, greenway trails, historic sites and other public lands by offering best-practice trainings, technical assistance, conferences, events, and statewide advocacy efforts. With the Friends Group Gateway, the wealth of resources we have for Friends are now easily accessible and groups will be able to collaborate with and access resources, tools and insights from other groups across New York.

The Gateway includes an array of integrated tools for supporting your group, including a member database and directory, event management and e-communication tools, a resource library, discussion forums for you to collaborate with other groups on specific topics, plus a number of other services.

Most importantly, the Gateway is designed to help every aspect of your Friends group -- meaning member benefits and access to the online community can be extended to as many of your members as you like. The Gateway is centered on collaboration and the more people participating and sharing their insights, the better! So no matter your position or role in your organization - president, volunteer coordinator, membership chair - there is a discussion forum and resources waiting for you. Come join the conversation!

Become a Member

 Friends-to-Friends Workshop: Why Join the Friends Group Gateway

PTNY created an online community for- and driven by- the organizations and individuals that champion our state’s public lands and in 2024, the Friends Group Gateway will be FREE to join! In this workshop, we will provide an overview of the benefits of this platform and demonstrate it's ease-of-use and value for your group. To access the presentation slides click here

 Membership Benefits

Signing up your Friends group as a member of the Gateway connects you with a wealth of benefits that will help your organization expand your capacity, welcome new volunteers and members, and become better stewards of the places you champion.

  • Access to Integrated Tools

    • Member database and directory (to connect you with other champions across the state)
    • Discussion forums (to ask questions, brainstorm ideas, share events/resources, and more!)
  • Access to PTNY-created Tools and Resources

    • Extensive Resource Library (designed to support and strengthen your organizations)

      • Recordings and presentations from PTNY’s workshops
      • Content shared from other Friends groups (examples of policies from MOA renewals)
      • Publications highlighting the impact of YOUR work to share with funders
      • Park and Trail Partnership Grant resources for applicants, updates on rounds, and examples of projects
      • Templates and guidance documents to help you with events, recruit volunteers and members, advocacy, and more!
    • Volunteer Opportunities Map

      • Registered members will be able to share their upcoming volunteer opportunities to a public map that PTNY will promote across all channels
  • Timely Reminders to Important Events

    • PTNY will be migrating all our work to the Gateway and members will have easy access and receive reminders about this valuable information including registration for events, emails re: programs, Park and Trail Partnership Grant updates, and more.
    • Additionally, The Gateway enables an unlimited number of members from your organization to gain access to our resources and join the conversation, so you don’t have to relay
  • Showcase Your Organization to a Broader Audience

    • The Gateway helps us help you spread the work about your organization. By housing all of the work you are doing, including upcoming volunteer opportunities, events, programs or resources, we can share this information with our audience. Consider the gateway to be an extension of your conventional online platforms (social media, website, newsletter), as a tool that can showcase and highlight your organization, free of charge!

Special reasons to join the Friends Group Gateway in 2024

  • Free Access to NYCON resources: PTNY is collaborating with the New York Council of Nonprofits to offer a limited number of FREE association memberships to Friends groups in 2024. All relevant NYCON content and workshops will be shared on the Gateway.

  • NY State Parks Centennial Celebration: In 2024, NY State Parks is celebrating its centennial year. Joining the Friends Group Gateway grants you easy access to all resources from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation to help your organization promote and capitalize on this historic event.

  • In-Person "Charrettes": PTNY staff is available to work closely with your organization in 2024 for in-depth workshops or planning sessions tailored to your organization's needs–covering topics like group formation, expansion, sustainability, and more.

  • Next Century Visitation Data: Gain access to revolutionary data that provides insights into visitor demographics, duration of stay, and travel patterns, helping inform your fundraising, sponsorship, and marketing activities.

Membership Dues: PTNY has decided to make the Friends Group Gateway a FREE resource in 2024!

PTNY has been hard at work making upgrades to the Gateway and in 2024, we will be making the Friends Group Gateway FREE to join for all, and we hope you will join us!

Memberships are designed to allow access to the Gateway and other listed benefits, for all members of your group. If you want to register your Friends group as a member, you will have the ability to add as many of your group members as you would like, either during your registration process or through your Key Contact's account. Please feel free to contact a member of PTNY’s Parks Team if you have any questions!  

Become a Member

What Friends groups have to say about PTNY’s membership benefits and the Gateway

"The opportunities for information sharing are amazing. When renewing our MOA with State Parks, resource sharing through the Leadership Council saved me a week's worth of work. I also have been loving the Friends-to-Friends workshops! I have learned so much more than during my previous position on the board."- President of MAC Nature Center at Wellesley Island State Park

"I have found every encounter with your organization to be filled with useful suggestions, open-mindedness, and a very positive attitude. I've particularly learned much from the webinars I've attended over the past year, and have used a lot of the information gained from them to improve some internal practices in our association and successfully apply for a few small PTNY grants."- President of the Lake George Battlefield Park Alliance