According to Wikipedia, “Donald J. Trump State Park is a 436-acre state park located within the towns of Yorktown and Putnam Valley in Westchester County and Putnam County, New York. The park consists of undeveloped property that was donated to New York State in 2006 by developer and future President Donald J. Trump.”
A movement is underway to rename the park for deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I’ve signed several petitions to that effect. Then I decided to learn more about the park. Here’s what I uncovered:
In 2006, Trump donated the undeveloped land to New York state, claiming its worth was $100m. But in 2016, Trump’s campaign stated its value as $26.1m in his list of charitable contributions.
The newspaper The Guardian reports that the park is not a park at all. It’s “two tracts of muddy, overgrown land between New York’s Putnam and Westchester counties that Trump purchased in 1998 for $2.75m hoping to build a golf course. Neighborhood officials halted the plan, citing environmental concerns, and the land was abandoned.” The area’s “parking lot” is “an empty gravel patch with a noticeboard that warns visitors to beware of ticks. There are no restrooms, trash cans, or places to sit. The remainder is basically bramble bushes and an empty field with bits of trash.”
Efforts to rename the park have failed. Trump required in the donation contract awarding the land to New York state that the parklands would bear Trump’s name prominently displayed.
So chances are that Trump could successfully block efforts to rename the park after Ginsburg. That’s all well and good. Leave Trump’s name on the mud pit. Find a beautiful and stately park to name after one of the greatest justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court.
And maybe, after Trump is defeated in his bid for re-election next month, we can find a way to banish his name from our parks.