Billionaire Paulson Donates $100 Million for Central Park
Billionaire John Paulson and the Paulson Family Foundation are donating $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy, the largest parks donation ever.
Paulson, 56, is founder of Paulson & Co., a New York-based hedge fund that manages $21 billion across 10 funds. Paulson was worth $11.8 billion yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. His contribution will help renovate and maintain park facilities and pay for recreation programs, said Doug Blonsky, president of the conservancy, which is responsible for its maintenance and operations. Half will bolster the park’s endowment, which now stands at $144 million, Blonsky said.
“The Conservancy is responsible for transforming and sustaining Central Park as the celebration of culture, nature and democracy that it is today,” Paulson said in a statement. “It is my hope that today’s contribution will help it endure and flourish.”
The park’s 843 acres (341 hectares) stretch from 59th Street to 110th Street in Manhattan and make up a leafy oasis on an island of concrete. Conservancy crews care for 250 acres of lawns, 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams and 130 acres of woodlands, according to its website.
“Central Park is a paradise unlike anywhere else in the world today,” said Paulson, whose Fifth Avenue apartment faces the park’s east side and overlooks its reservoir. “I wanted the amount to make a difference.”
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