More States Go Corporate for Park Upkeep

In 2008 and a few weeks ago in this blog we explored the idea and the progress in Allegheny County’s plan to look for private sector help for park improvements. Facing tight revenue sources and maintenance needs that have been deferred for some time, the County thought that there might be an opportunity to solicit interest from the private sector but the Executive pledged in 2008 that "we are never going to sell [County] parks".

A recent article in USA Today describes how other states have jumped on this line of thinking and have secured donations and services in return for advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Parks in California, playgrounds in New York, and now Georgia (where officials have stated, in a reassuring way, that "we will not rename any parks") are looking to the corporate pool.

And that pool is not bottomless, so whether the County goes the route of other states (the parks website still lists assets that were considered for rehab at the time our 2008 piece was written) it likely needs to get moving. Add the fact that the parks are seeking increased Regional Asset District funding for next year is not an indicator that the private sector approach is proceeding in the intended direction.