San Jose, California has a robust park partnership ecosystem that includes a city-wide park foundation and park advocacy organization, multiple park conservancies and friends of parks groups, and a strong parks department committed to partnering. In order to strengthen their partnerships, the San Jose Parks Foundation and City Parks Alliance co-hosted city workshop in April 2018.
The workshop focused on three strategic opportunity areas identified by local park partners:
- Improving the efficiency, predictability, and support for San Jose’s park partnerships
- Building a network of Friends of Parks organizations with a sustainable mechanism for planning, technical support, and coordinated investment
- Developing a compelling vision for the future of San Jose’s parks as the center for an equitable, vibrant and healthy city
Seattle Parks Foundation President & CEO Thatcher Bailey kicked off the workshop as a guest speaker with an inspiring talk framing parks as integral infrastructure for building healthy, sustainable and equitable cities. Following Thatcher’s presentation, workshop participants explored strategies for building the capacity and sustainability of neighborhood park partners by engaging in a case study analysis of the Partnership for Providence Parks. Participants said that using the case study to model methods for working through partnership barriers taught them valuable skills directly applicable to their work. Workshop participants identified key strategies for advancing their priorities before their second workshop, scheduled for this fall.
According to James Reber, with the San Jose Parks Foundation, “The content of the workshop in San Jose was excellent, engaging participants in a productive exploration of important and relevant issues. The bonus, however, was that city staff, neighborhood groups, and key nonprofits were all in the same room, experiencing the workshop together. The buzz about the workshop has been great! People who attended valued it very much, and the few who couldn’t make it signaled to me that they want to be part of whatever comes next,” said Reber.
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City workshops support is generously provided by: