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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.

This Scenic View Brought to You By Coca-Cola

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: parks, state parks, outdoor recreation, economics, business, government, Coca-Cola, Verizon, environment, Governing, Keith Goetzman,

Coke can

Cash-strapped state parks are forging partnerships with corporations to close their budget gaps, Governing magazine reports:

The trend has already spawned the creation of a new breed of middleman: A California firm called Government Solutions Group has brokered about $7.5 million in such deal since 2004. Chief executive Shari Boyer tells Governing that this is not philanthropy but business: “These are partnerships. The corporation has to get something out of it.”

Some park managers are ostensibly taking care to hook up with companies that are a good fit—but the parameters seem pretty fuzzy:

If you’re like me, your B.S. meter is off the charts at this contention, but take heart: Overall, these deals are a small piece of the park funding pie. Governing reminds us that in California in the last five years, corporate sponsorships have raised about $6.5 million for parks, while contributions from nonprofit groups amount to $50 million and volunteer hours stack up at a value of $100 million. Even Boyer holds that corporate sponsorships are “not the solution” to larger park funding woes.

Unfortunately, the situation could change as things get worse: One park director says that in the future, “If a corporate citizen wants to put their name on a park, I think that could happen.”

Source: Governing 

Image by timparkinson, licensed under Creative Commons.