At a digital technology in parks event, delegates heard about the launch of the Bournemouth Parks Foundation (BPF) by the council, one of 11 pilot Rethinking Parks projects facilitated by event organiser NESTA (see p6).
The BPF is trialling a range of fundraising mechanisms including digital donations and legacy giving. Key will be improving marketing for parks let down by rundown noticeboards and the like, giving "the wrong message about parks".
Since experience shows specific causes prove more compelling than generic charities, a digital donation platform offers four "causes" - the Stour Valley Sculpture Trail, a bird sanctuary, new park benches and a planting fund. Other Rethinking Parks projects include developing an endowment trust for Sheffield parks, a BID-style solution in London's Bloomsbury and crowdfunding project MyParkScotland covering Glasgow and Edinburgh green spaces. The latter saw one modest project, a mini orchard, funded in just three weeks.
Elsewhere last week, an event designed to reinforce the case for green infrastructure investment heard a proposal for the creation of a Green Infrastructure Board for London to co-ordinate green-space investment across the city (see p5).
What's crystal clear is that funding pressure on green-space managers will only get even more pronounced. What's also clear is that the sector's green-space managers have more than enough capacity to innovate if given the opportunity.