NYC MAYOR ANNOUNCES $15M GIFT FROM WENDY AND ERIC SCHMIDT

(The following is a reformatted version of a press release      
issued by the Office of the Mayor of New York and received via  
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.       
Michael Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of          
Bloomberg, LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News)             
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2013
No. 256
www.nyc.gov 
MAYOR BLOOMBERG BREAKS GROUND ON THE HILLS, NEW PUBLIC PARK ON GOVERNORS 
ISLAND, AND ANNOUNCES MAJOR GIFT FROM WENDY AND ERIC SCHMIDT TO KICK OFF 
PRIVATE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN 
The Hills Will Rise up to 80 Feet Above Governors Island, Providing 
Extraordinary Views of Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor and Opening to 
Public in 2015 
High-Resolution Renderings Available at 
flickr.com/nycmayorsoffice<http://www.flickr.com/nycmayorsoffice> and Animation 
Available at youtube.com/mayorbloomberg<http://youtube.com/mayorbloomberg> 
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today broke ground on The Hills, new public park 
land on Governors Island, and announced that a $15 million donation from Wendy 
and Eric Schmidt, in addition to several other commitments of private funding 
now totaling $36 million, officially launches The Trust for Governors Island’s 
capital campaign to privately fund the construction of The Hills. Made of 
recycled construction and fill materials, The Hills will rise 25 to 80 feet 
above sea level, and the summit of the tallest Hill will provide visitors with 
a 360-degree panorama of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Lower 
Manhattan skyline. Mayor Bloomberg made the announcement on Governors Island 
and was joined by Wendy and Eric Schmidt, Trust for Governors Island Chair 
Ronay Menschel and President Leslie Koch, and Adriaan Geuze of West 8, 
landscape architects. 
“Governors Island is at the center of our Administration’s efforts to 
revitalize our waterfront and create new and innovative green spaces along the 
water’s edge,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The construction of these incredible 
Hills will continue the transformation of Governors Island and will create a 
landmark in New York Harbor that will be enjoyed for generations to come.” 
“Eric and I are delighted to support the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and the 
Trust for Governors Island in this unique project to revitalize this historic 
piece of New York Harbor,” said Wendy Schmidt.  “The greening of Governors 
Island is an extraordinary contribution to the greening of the city, and I can 
just imagine the excitement when visitors to The Hills find themselves 
discovering never-before-seen vistas of the Statue of Liberty and the New York 
City skyline. For someone who grew up in New Jersey in the 1970s when New York 
and other major cities were struggling to embrace the importance of 
environmental protection, projects like this one show me how far we have come.” 
“Today’s announcement celebrates a public-private partnership that is 
responding to a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform a piece of New 
York,” said Ronay Menschel, Chair of The Trust for Governors Island. “With 
improved infrastructure, new park and public spaces and now these extraordinary 
Hills, Governors Island will be a unique resource, with a variety of uses, for 
New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.” 
“The Hills are the culmination of the new park and public spaces on Governors 
Island,” said Adriaan Geuze, lead designer of West 8. “They will provide 
visitors with the feeling of being immersed by nature and from the top of 
Outlook Hill will give a feeling of the sea and sky, against the City skyline, 
like nowhere else in the world.” 
Mayor Bloomberg broke ground in May of 2012 on 30 acres of new parkland on 
Governors Island, funded as part of the Administration’s comprehensive capital 
program to bring Governors Island’s infrastructure into the 21st century and 
create new park spaces.  This first phase of park, which includes Hammock 
Grove, Play Lawn and Liggett Terrace is on schedule to be completed in 2013.  
The Hills add another 11 acres of public park space to the 30 acres previously 
announced as well as the green spaces in the Island’s National Historic 
District which have also been enhanced in the last year. 
To date, individuals and foundations have been made commitments totaling $36 
million to meet the total construction cost of The Hills, which is $70 million. 
In addition to the Schmidts’ gift, leadership gifts have been pledged by 
Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Carson Family Charitable Trust, Charina Endowment 
Fund, The Lauder Foundation, and Joan H. Tisch and Family and the Tiffany & Co 
Foundation. 
Drawing from the precedent of Frederick Law Olmsted’s creation of manmade 
topography in Central Park, The Hills pay homage to the lush, hilly landscapes 
of pre-colonial Manhattan, and fortify the Island’s resiliency in the face of 
rising sea levels. There are four Hills. Grassy Hill will provide a 25 foot 
high gentle slope overlooking the Island’s new and historic landscapes and the 
Manhattan skyline. Slide Hill (40 feet high), will host 4 slides for children 
and families nestled in shady trees. The 60 foot high Discovery Hill will be 
the setting for the convergence of nature and art with site-specific art along 
its pathways. Outlook Hill, rising 80 feet above the Island,  will be New York 
City’s newest destination as visitors access its winding path to enjoy 
breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. With today’s 
groundbreaking, all Hills begin to rise this year. They are scheduled to open 
to the public in the spring of 2015. 
The Hills are the culminating feature of the Governors Island Park and Public 
Space Master Plan, designed by the landscape architecture firm West 8 and 
released to the public in May, 2010.  West 8 is an internationally acclaimed 
firm based in Rotterdam that has designed award winning park and public spaces 
located around the world. The master plan may be accessed at govislandpark.com. 
Governors Island is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays through 
September 29, via free ferries from Manhattan and Brooklyn and the East River 
Ferry. Island visitors can see progress on the park and public spaces from the 
viewing platform at Liggett Arch or on free hard-hat tours that are offered on 
select weekends. Visit govisland.com for ferry, event and construction tour 
schedules. 
Contact:   Marc La Vorgna/Julie Wood                         (212) 788-2958 
Meagan O’Neill (Trust for Governors Island)       (646) 326-4997 
(kgt)NY 
 
 
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