Earlier this month, billionaire hedge fund John Paulson gave $100 million to Central Park, the largest donation in the history of the parks system. And while most New Yorkers might agree that Central Park is indeed a gem worthy of preserving, the gift raises questions about the funding of some of the city’s less famous green spaces.
In an eviscerating piece, New York Times columnist Michael Powell points out that before the gift, Central Park already had an unusually high budget and number of staffers, and that outer-borough parks–like the Bronx’s Pelham Bay, which dwarfs Central Park in acreage but has only one full-time maintenance person–often suffer from a lack of money. Powell raises the suggestion that some of the endowment be used towards smaller, less wealthy spaces–an idea that the mayor has already handily rebuffed. “Well, one has nothing do with another,” Bloomberg said. “The city tries to make sure that we do as much for all parks as we can in all boroughs. Some parks have more access to private philanthropy, and those help those, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to transfer any moneys from one place to another.”
(Photo: Robert Garcia/Flickr)