Donald J. Trump State Park is covered in weeds, wild brush, graffiti-covered abandoned homes, and is closed to the public. Once Trump’s “gift” to New York, now he wants it back.
Donald J. Trump State Park was created as a result of Trump’s failed attempt to build a golf course in upstate New York. Trump purchased the 436 acres of land in the 1990s for around $2 million, initially intending to develop it into a private golf course. Unfortunately his plans for the land were repeatedly foiled by the meddling of the surrounding towns (and their pesky dogs too) who weren’t so keen on the plan. It didn’t help that the golf course would have been an environmental disaster for the area.
Unable to turn the land into a recreational get away for other Trumpian types, he finally gave the land to New York state as a “gift,” with the intention of turning it into a park. Or with the intention that someone would. Or something. Trump seemed too busy cashing in on the taxes breaks he received from the donation of land, which he conveniently valued at $100 million, to care. Unfortunately, wanting a thing to be, and making it so are two different things entirely, and even though Trump’s donation was generous, there was very little money to maintain it.
The park was given an operating budget of a whopping $2,500 a year, and a maintenance crew, who already worked at nearby Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, was asked to peel off some time to care for Trump’s “gift.” Surprising exactly no one, given its anemic resources, the park closed after just four years in operation, locking its gates in 2010.
Not taking kindly to his generosity being left to rot, Trump threatened to take the land back, like a spoiled child. But Papa New York wouldn’t give it back, so the park remains, closed and overgrown.
Signs on the nearby highway emblazoned with Donald J. Trump’s name still lead drivers to the closed park. Should you actually try and find out what is inside of Donald J. Trump State Park, you will only find an empty, unloved ruin with a famous name.
Update 6/11/17: most of the buildings have been demolished, only a few foundations and the existing tennis court remain.
Know Before You Go
Just off the Taconic State Parkway