The National Park Foundation has announced a gift of $5.37 million from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to restore and improve the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
The gift will enable the National Park Service to re-gild the engravings on the sculpture's pedestal, wax the sculpture, and improve the memorial's lighting, landscaping, infrastructure, and signage.
The lead gift to the Obama administration's Centennial Initiative marking the hundred-year anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016, the donation also will help advance efforts to invest in the national park system, engage volunteers and the next generation in the system's upkeep, and leverage public-private partnerships to improve the national park experience for millions of visitors from around the world. Rubenstein, who was among the initial signatories of the Giving Pledge, has focused much of his giving on national parks and monuments.
"Mr. Rubenstein's transformative gift is an inspiring example of the unique connections individuals have with their national parks and the important role that public-private partnerships play in ensuring that the places honoring our history and heritage are protected and preserved now and for future generations," said Dan Wenk, interim president of NPF. "We are grateful for Mr. Rubenstein's continued support of America's national parks, and we believe it will serve as inspiration for other donors to leave their own legacy through gifts that bolster national parks across the country."