A state park named after Donald J. Trump will retain the name of the controversial former president — and former New Yorker — for at least for another year..
Lawmakers advanced a bill (S.991-C/A.466-A) that would have led to the removal of Trump’s name from the sprawling, but little-used, park located in the Hudson Valley.
The legislation sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, D-Queens, passed the New York State Senate on June 10.
Even though the Assembly bill passed committee and made it to a third reading, it did not get a full vote before the Legislature adjourned for the summer.
The park was initially named after Trump when he donated the 400 acres of land in Westchester and Putnam counties in 2006. Trump’s original plans to build a private golf course fell through because of environmental restrictions and permitting obstacles.
The park has sat largely undeveloped since 2010.
In recent years New York State legislators have been trying to replace the name despite the pushback from Trump’s legal team.
According to Sen. Hoylman, the events that took place at the nation’s Capitol on January 6th drew the last straw.
“The mob violence that Trump incited on January 6 led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the death of five people, including a police officer, and an unprecedented second impeachment. Trump has dishonored the state and should not be honored with a state park named for him.” Senator Hoylman stated.
The Hoylman-Nizic bill specifically directs the state Parks Commissioner to launch a legal review to determine if the park’s name can be changed without violating terms of any contract that was signed when the land was first donated.
If so, Sen. Hoylman calls upon the local communities to engage in choosing its new name.
There is currently a petition on the website “Change.org” to name the park after legendary folk singer, environmentalist and social activist, Pete Seeger.
If the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation finds that they have legal authority the park’s name will be changed, new signage will be installed, and more park improvements will be undertaken.
“New York state has always been known for its history of welcoming and embracing people of all cultures and backgrounds,” reads the justification memo in the bill. “Even our park system reflects these values. According to the Declaration of Policy of the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, our parks should foster and strengthen the sense of purpose, well-being and identity of the citizens of this state. The names of these parks and green spaces should embody the goals of uplifting, and unifying New Yorkers.
“For these reasons, the Donald J. Trump State Park should be renamed. Furthermore, by directing the Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation to improve the park for the enjoyment of the public, this legislation will ensure that the park provides recreational and educational opportunities for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”
The legislation was first introduced in the 2015 legislative session, but it has died in committee every year.