Private efforts have successfully transformed a select few parks, which has created allegations of park inequity at a time when many neighborhood parks are overgrown and understaffed. Public-private partnerships reflect a national debate about the proper role of the private sector in maintaining parks, highways, bridges, and other essential civic infrastructure. But for most neighborhood parks the debate is irrelevant. They completely lack access to either adequate public funding or private revenue. One-time infusions of public capital dollars into the neediest parks cannot solve the ongoing operation and maintenance problem.

This paper identifies an array of alternative revenue strategies to solve this inequitable situation. It then addresses the challenge of adapting strategies developed in the highest income communities to resolving disparate park conditions in other neighborhoods. While this paper focuses on examples from New York City, the practices discussed are applicable throughout the State, including state parks that have also suffered from funding shortfalls in the past decade.