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Perot Wants Multimillion-Dollar Park Donation Back

July 24, 1988

DALLAS (AP) _ Billionaire philanthropist H. Ross Perot isn’t happy with developments at a local arboretum and botanical garden, and he wants the park to give back his multimillion dollar donation.

Perot donated $2 million and pledged $6 million in October 1986 for expansion and development of the park, which is run by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society.

Voters approved $7.5 million in bonds to improve the 66-acre park, but only $2.5 million has been issued and Perot said because of the downturn in the economy he doubts enough public and private money will be available to develop the arboretum into a world-class facility.

″We can’t afford to spend money on things like this now,″ Perot said. ″There are no villains. It’s the economic period we’re going through now. We had a plan when we started. It went from world-class to a scaled-back, nice arboretum.″

Robert Hoffman, chairman of the society, said Perot’s $2 million had not been spent and that the society’s board will meet Thursday to decide on a response.

If the arboretum board returns his money, Perot said he will give the funds to people who need it.

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