“Amalfi has always made a point of giving back,” said realtor Max Marguleas, after his dad once again donated $5,000 to help maintain the Village Green.
“I have come here my entire life,” said Max, 23, who grew up in Pacific Palisades and graduated from Palisades High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder. “It’s the heart of the Palisades, so we need to take care of it.”
Annually since 2013, Amalfi Estates founder/owner Anthony Marguleas supported the private triangular park in the heart of the town’s business district, which relies entirely on donations from residents, businesses and organizations for upkeep and insurance.
“It’s a visual reminder of why the Palisades is so special,” the elder Marguleas said. “I think of what the town stands for and how this used to be a gas station before the town rallied to raise money to buy the property and build the Green [in 1972-73].
“The Village Green reminds me of the town’s humble roots and a simpler time. That so many volunteers have spent thousands of hours keeping it maintained is a tribute to the amazing people that make up the Palisades.”
Marguleas reflected on this past year, when so many of us have been confined to our homes and restricted from visiting parks and public beaches for months at a time. “Covid has given us the gift of appreciating something we all took for granted, and now we all cherish our friendships, our health, and even the Village Green a little bit more,” he said.
“We can all give back, it doesn’t have to be large amounts,” said Marguleas, whose team of five agents donate close to $200,000 from their commissions every year to five partner charities.
According to VG board member Marge Gold, the annual budget for the Village Green nonprofit is about $21,000 and the money raised comes strictly from donations and grants.
In addition to tree care/trimming, the nonprofit looks after the fountain, is responsible for trash pickup, takes care of the lawn and flowers and pays for insurance and utilities.
The triangular area used to be a Standard Oil gas station, but in 1972, Standard decided not to renew its lease on the site. The newly-organized Pacific Palisades Community Council established a five-member group called the Village Green Committee.
A lease was signed giving the committee an option to buy the land — if it could raise the necessary funds. Starting in October that year, nearly $70,000 was raised. About $46,000 was used to purchase the land and the rest of the money went to park development.
The Palisades Village Green was certified as a California nonprofit and formally dedicated on August 17, 1973.
Many residents are unaware that the Village Green at Sunset/Swarthmore/Antioch is not a City park, and that it receives no City assistance.
On the green stands a pine tree, five evergreen pears and three tipu trees—”our own little forest,” Gold once said.
All income is generated from donations and fundraisers, which is why Marguleas’ annual contribution has been so important.
“We are so appreciative of Anthony’s very generous donation,” Gold said. “We can’t thank him enough!!”
To donate to the Village Green or if you would like to join the board, contact Palisadesvillagegreen.org.