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Volume 26
Number 2
Fall 2009
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Sidebar: The partnership phenomenon

By Melissa S. Weddell, Rich Fedorchak, and Brett A. Wright
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
  The partnership phenomenon
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The partnership phenomenon

By Melissa S. Weddell, Rich Fedorchak, and Brett A. Wright

Partnerships have received considerable attention as a management strategy for public agencies. The political culture of fiscal constraint and “doing more with less” has led to a groundswell of interest in collaborative partnering and resource-sharing arrangements. Working in partnership increases involvement through democratic means and provides a viable approach for expanding the range of services offered, enhancing the opportunities of park visitors, and building a sense of community pride (Vaske et al. 1995; Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000; Mowen and Kerstetter 2006). Partnerships among public agencies and corporations are now an accepted mechanism to generate additional park and recreation resources that otherwise could not be provided with public funds (Mowen and Everett 2000).

For example, with the help of partners Yellowstone National Park recently designed and constructed a world-class visitor education center using a model of sustainable energy practices. In Florida, the National Park Service has established endowments and worked with educators to deliver park-based curriculum programs to reach underserved communities. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has been working with more than 100 partners, 40 communities, and 1,000 volunteers to raise awareness and funds to protect the Appalachian Trail (Edelen 2006). The partnership includes the U.S. Geological Survey, USDA–Forest Service, area schools, universities, and countless volunteers. The partners cooperatively monitor environmental factors and implement programs to protect critical habitats on the trail, where more than 35,000 users are active each year.

Partnerships are increasingly important in the management of public agencies, specifically parks and recreation service providers. Citizens’ heightened awareness of broader social issues creates demands to find solutions to financial, human, and capital problems through alternative methods such as collaborative agreements. Through collaboration, traditional park and recreation providers are repositioning themselves to provide goods and services that address broader social missions while supporting their agencies.

(Return to the main article on partnership behaviors, motivations, constraints, and training needs among NPS employees.)

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This page updated:  4 November 2009

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From the Editor
In This Issue
20 Years Ago in Park Science
At Your Service
Information Crossfile
In Focus
Restoration Journal
Field Moment
Meetings of Interest
Masthead Information
Forest vegetation monitoring in eastern national parks
Contaminants study provides window into airborne toxic impacts in western U.S. and Alaska national parks
Exploring the influence of genetic diversity on pitcher plant restoration in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Sidebar: Ecology of plant carnivory
Students to the rescue of freshwater mussels at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway
Pulse study links scientists and managers
A rapid, invasive plant survey method for national park units with a cultural resource focus
Prescribed fire and nonnative plant spread in Zion National Park
Partnership behaviors, motivations, constraints, and training needs among NPS employees
  Sidebar: The partnership phenomenon
Distribution and abundance of Barbary sheep and other ungulates in Carlsbad Caverns National Park
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