National Parks Get Record Centennial Gift

Billionaire financier David Rubenstein donates $12.35 million to National Park Foundation

David Rubenstein, billionaire co-chief executive of private-equity firm The Carlyle Group, has given a record $12.35 million to the National Park Foundation to support the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016.

It is the largest donation the foundation, the National Park Service's official charity and which solicts private donations for the support of America’s national parks, has received for its centenary campaign. “Mr. Rubenstein has set the tone for a new era of investment in America’s national parks, the foundation said announcing the gift

Congress chartered the foundation in 1967 to be the National Park Service’s official charity to help conserve and preserve more than 84 million acres of national parks and to engage Americans in protecting the country’s “special places.”

The monies donated by Rubenstein are earmarked for the restoration of Arlington House, the pre-Civil War home of General Robert E. Lee in what is today the Arlington National Cemetery. 

In 2012, Rubenstein donated $7.5 million to cover half the repair bill for another National Park Service site, the earthquake-damaged Washington Monument, which reopened to the public in May 2014.

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