Friends of the High Line – a group dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line, a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan – is teaming up with actor Edward Norton in a challenge to help raise funds to support the construction and ongoing maintenance of the High Line.

Through December 31, 2008, Norton will match donors’ support dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000. The program was announced in an e-mail to Friends of the High Line supporters this week.

“When a year-end operating gift is made to Friends of the High Line before December 31, donors will have the opportunity to know that their contribution has saved the High Line and designed a park that will permanently enrich our city,” said Joshua David, Co-Founder of Friends of the High Line. “Continued support of the High Line today is critical, because elements of the collective vision for the High Line might not be realized, because they are not yet funded. Your gift to the High Line will support the opening, operation, and maintenance of the High Line in its first year as a public park, and, through Edward’s challenge gift, the construction of key design features, like the Woodland Flyover and the 30th Street Cut-Out and the creation and operation of a park that will permanently enrich our city for generations.”

The first section of the High Line is scheduled to open in Spring 2009.

“When the High Line Opens, thirty feet above the street, native grasses and wildflowers will form a ribbon of green, and visitors will discover a place that embodies all that is great about New York City,” said Robert Hammond, Co-Founder of Friends of the High Line. “Donors are the people who have taken the opportunity to make this a reality for the city of New York.”

All gifts to the Grassroots Campaign will be recognized on the Friends of the High Line Web site; gifts of $500 or more will be acknowledged in the opening-season publication.

For more information and to donate to the High Line, go to http://www.thehighline.org/joinus/donate.html.

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