Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis held a news conference on Friday at the entrance to the Gateway National Recreation Area’s Great Kills Park on Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, NY.

The news conference focused on her commitment to Staten Island’s three National Parks – Gateway Great Kills, Fort Wadsworth and Miller Field.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “To me and many other Staten Islanders, Fort Wadsworth, Great Kills Parks and Miller Field are our own little slice of the outdoors and while they might not be Yosemite, Yellowstone, or the Grand Canyon, they are our national treasures and cherished by all that use them. I grew up on the East Shore and my family still lives here. For much of my life, I’ve walked the paths of Great Kills Park and as a high school student at New Dorp High School, I played sports and had picnics at Miller Field. On any given weekend, you will see me riding my bike through Fort Wadsworth or walking my dog there. I love our parks and they deserve an advocate who will make them the best parks they can be.

“Over my years in the Assembly, I’ve taken the initiative to work to improve these parks even though they sit under the jurisdiction of the federal government and the National Parks Service. I’ve led clean-ups of these facilities removing syringes from the beaches and trash from the grounds. In 2018, I allocated funds to repair the sidewalks along Hylan Boulevard for pedestrian safety and allocated another $150,000 to the City Department of Transportation to continue that work.

“In June, the Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act and the House has been dragging its feet. Now, more than ever, we need outdoor recreation and if this package was passed earlier, our parks would have been properly funded, maintained and staffed for Staten Islanders to enjoy.

“As Congresswoman, I will continue to work hand in hand with the National Park Service to do my part to make sure they have the staff needed to properly maintain the grounds, supervise activities in the park like swimming and bring back the kayaking program that stopped when Max Rose took office. That’s how I’ll operate as your representative in Congress, unlike Max Rose who created hostility and showed disdain for our parks employees when he referred to them as “pieces of shit.”