Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Three Little Words

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Three Little Words

Article excerpt

Following up on Michael Powell's cover story in the September issue, this month's cover story returns to the discussion about private funding for public parks by exploring what goes into a successful partnership between public parks and their conservancies. It seems that more and more agencies are venturing down this unfamiliar road and can benefit greatly from the experiences of trailblazers who have already navigated the partnership wilderness. In fact, the recent effort in Miami to start a conservancy for Museum Park makes Susan Rademacher of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy envious of their timing.

"It comes at a wonderful time, because there is such a great track record of so many different organizations having formed along the same general model but tailored to specific politics and social issues and infrastructure needs," Rademacher says. "There is no one model that is the ideal model."

The NRPA Congress in Houston this month brings innumerable opportunities to learn from others in the field like this. But one of the first steps to learning something new is admitting that we don't already know everything. In her new book I don't know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance (Except When You Shouldn't), author Leah Hager Cohen describes the feeling of freedom we get when we drop the pretense of being knowledgeable on every subject and confess, "I don't know. …

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