The Donald makes donation, gets Donald J. Trump State Park

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PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) – Donald Trump is donating 436 bucolic acres in New York City’s northern suburbs for a new state park that will be named for – you guessed it – Donald Trump.

The new Donald J. Trump State Park will comprise two separate areas along the Taconic State Parkway, near the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Fahnestock state parks.

Trump and Gov. George Pataki announced the donation Wednesday from the sunny, wind-swept top of Indian Hill, which crowns the larger parcel – 282 acres of woods, meadow and wetland straddling Westchester and Putnam counties about 45 miles north of Manhattan.

“This is so beautiful,” Trump said to his wife, Melania, when he arrived for the news conference. “Am I allowed to change my mind?”

The second parcel, known as French Hill, encompasses 154 acres in Westchester, entirely within the New York City watershed and about 4 miles south of Indian Hill. It is heavily wooded and has a 20-acre wetland that Pataki said was “invaluable.”

“We’re in Westchester and Putnam counties, one of the hottest real estate markets in the world,” the governor added. “I can’t put a price tag on the 436 acres, but I can tell you this would not be open space but for Donald Trump.”

When Trump, a billionaire developer and star of TV’s “The Apprentice,” was asked if he could put a price on the land, he said, “People have told me about $100 million.”

The 59-year-old real estate magnate bought the properties in the 1990s for $2 million and had considered projects including golf courses and a housing development.

There was some local opposition, however, and Trump said he concluded that new golf courses would hurt the one he has in Briarcliff Manor. He said he decided with his family to “do something really spectacular” and donate the land for conservation.

Besides the Trump National golf course, the developer’s other recent forays into the suburbs include a Trump Tower in White Plains. His previous gifts include renovation of the Wollman skating rink in New York’s Central Park.

AP-ES-04-19-06 1425EDT

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