Anthony Marguleas, owner of Amalfi Estates real estate company, recently donated $5,000 to the Palisades Village Green. The large sum will go to maintaining the small triangular park that sits at the intersection of Sunset, Antioch and Swarthmore.
“I like to support the local community,” said Marguleas. “I think it is very important for local business leaders to lead by example.”
This is the second year Marguleas has donated to the Village Green. He has given to other causes in the Palisades, including laptop computers to local schools, but has a special soft spot for the tiny park.
“I have lived here 20 years and think the Village Green is one of the best secrets in the Palisades,” said Marguleas. “A lot of people drive by it and don’t even notice it is there.”
The park was created in 1973 and was formerly a gas station. After the gas station decided to not renew their lease in 1972, the community raised $70,000 (which is $370,000 of today’s dollars if you factor inflation) to buy the triangular lot and build the park on it. Walkways, benches, flowers, trees and grass were put in and in 1990 they added a water fountain. Today the park is still privately owned and receives all funding from a small endowment and donations.
Marge Gold, president of the Village Green, said they “can’t operate without donations.”
The $5,000 from Marguleas allowed the park to cover all of its fixed expenses for the year, enabling the little patch of greenery to have more fiscal freedom. “[Marguleas’] contribution was enormous to us, we were dumbfounded,” said Gold.
It takes about $500 a month to run the park, said Gold, which includes money to pay the gardener, water bills and more. Even with the funding, the Village Green board still gathers volunteers to keep the park looking pristine.
“We have volunteers once a month,” said Gold. “We are probably the only park that scrubs out our garbage cans.”
Gold gushed at the support the community has given for the park and is thankful for the continued sponsors, which include the Rotary Club, Daisy Girl Scout Troop 15925 and Palisades Patrol. Marguleas is thankful too and thinks the support should continue.
“Nothing happens by accident,” said Marguleas. “It takes a village to support a village.”
A Village Green, that is.