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San Diego Ponders Private Partner for Balboa Park

San Diego appears to be moving closer to establishing some form of a conservncy for the 1200-acre Balboa Park. An article in the San Diego Union Tribune references a newly released report and says the group could:

….attract new donations and take on tasks that the city’s parks department doesn’t already do – coordinate volunteers, for example, or manage the parking crunch, said committee Chairwoman Vicki Granowitz.

San Diego may take its script from St. Louis, whose Forest Park was just about as old, as large and as bedraggled as Balboa Park when the charity Forest Park Forever was founded in 1986. “Forest Park in St. Louis is the model,” Granowitz said, discarding another prominent example, New York’s Central Park Conservancy.“They are a middle-class community like San Diego is, and they have a mix of different kinds of institutions,” she said. “The other thing (about St. Louis) is the way in which the division of labor has worked out. Park and Rec keeps the things that Park and Rec is really good at, like taking care of landscaping lawns – not managing construction projects.”

An earlier report (the Center for City Park Excellence prepared this) laid out a set of options for the city to consider as it resolves how to improve the condition and maintenance backlog in the park. This report that further studied those options will go to the San Diego Park and Recreation Board in January and eventually to the City Council for possible action.

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