Governor Pataki and Donald Trump Announce Land Gift

Date: April 19, 2006


Gift of 436 Acres to Protect Open Space for New State Park in the Hudson Valley

Governor George E. Pataki today was joined by Donald J. Trump in announcing a land donation of two parcels in Westchester and Putnam counties that will be preserved as New York's 174th State Park. The 436-acre property, to be named Donald J. Trump State Park, includes the 282-acre Indian Hill site located in the towns of Putnam Valley and Yorktown and the 154-acre French Hill site in Yorktown.

"With spring upon us and Earth Day right around the corner, today marks the perfect time for New Yorkers to receive such a generous and meaningful gift - the protection of valuable open space and beautiful parklands in the Hudson Valley," Governor Pataki said. "The establishment of Donald J. Trump State Park will increase public access to scenic landscapes and provide additional recreational opportunities for families and visitors to the region. On behalf of the people of the Empire State, I express our gratitude to Donald Trump for his vision and commitment to preserve the natural resource of this property for the benefit of future generations."

Donald J. Trump said, "I have always loved the City and State of New York and this is my way of trying to give something back. I hope that these 436 acres of property will turn into one of the most beautiful parks anywhere in the world."

Assemblyman Will Stephens said, "This generous donation of land is a significant step toward land preservation for our region. This scenic parkland will be enjoyed by our community for many years to come."

Assemblywoman Sandra Galef said, "Parkland is such a precious commodity and this gift of 436 acres from Donald Trump will have a positive impact on the residents of our Hudson Valley communities for many decades."

The 282-acre Indian Hill property straddles the Westchester County/Putnam County border with 54 acres in the Town of Yorktown, Westchester County, and 228 acres in the Town of Putnam Valley, Putnam County. It is situated east of the Taconic State Parkway, in close proximity to both the Clarence Fahnestock and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) State Parks. The new parkland is a mix of heavily wooded lands, large open meadows, and a large wetland running north/south along the eastern boundary.

The 153.8-acre French Hill site is located just south of the FDR State Park in Westchester County. The new parkland is heavily wooded and contains a centrally located 20-acre state designated wetland, the origin of two headwater streams, French Hill Brook and Dogwood Creek. The entire parcel is located within the New York City Watershed Area and is easily accessible from the Taconic State Parkway. French Hill got its name because French General Rochambeau's troops camped in the vicinity before and after they helped the Americans win a decisive battle in October 1781 against the British at Yorktown, Virginia. It is part of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, included in Heritage New York's American Revolutionary War Heritage Trail and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro said, "This magnificent donation highlights the long-term success of fostering public/private partnerships as we continue to implement Governor Pataki's vision for the environment and open space protection. Donald Trump's incredible gift will have a lasting impact on our parklands, opening up public access to additional outdoor recreation and helping preserve the rich array of natural resources found in the Hudson Valley. Through his generosity, New Yorkers and their families will now be able to enjoy these parklands for years to come."

Putnam County Executive Robert J. Bondi said, "My administration has been committed to saving as much open space and parkland as possible in the County of Putnam. We are fortunate to have partners like Governor Pataki and Donald Trump to help us in this effort. With this generous donation, we continue that mission and are able to preserve the distinct character that is unique to this portion of the Hudson Valley."

Rose Harvey, Senior Vice President of The Trust for Public Land, said, "Governor Pataki is leading the way when it comes to creating new parks for New Yorkers, and Donald Trump is right there with him, generously donating this land to benefit all of us."

This latest addition to state parkland furthers the longstanding environmental goals set by the Governor that have made New York a national leader in open space protection and natural resource stewardship. Since 1995, Governor Pataki has opened 24 new State Parks and announced expansions to existing parks in every region of the state.

In his 2004 State of the State Address, Governor Pataki committed to opening five new State Parks in the next two years and opening or expanding 20 parks over the next five years. Since then, the State announced new State Parks with the acquisition of Robert V. Riddell State Park in Otsego and Amsterdam Beach in Montauk; the opening of Two Rivers State Park in Tioga, Jamesport State Park and Preserve in Suffolk County, Robert G. Wehle State Park in Jefferson County, and Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua; and the expansion of numerous sites including Rockefeller Preserve and Fahnestock State Parks in the Hudson Valley, Delta Lake in Central New York and Thacher and Saratoga Spa State Parks in the Capital District.

Last April, Commissioner Castro and The Foundation for Long Island State Parks presented Donald Trump with the 2005 Master Builder Award in recognition of his significant achievements in the media and entertainment industries and real estate including his restoration of Wollman Rink in New York City's Central Park.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 174 State Parks and 35 state historic sites from Montauk to Niagara Falls.