Stronger Together Through Community Partnerships
Approaching a project, whether it be large scale or a bit more bite-size, can feel daunting when it needs to be started alone. Do you have the funds to reach your goals? Do you possess key contacts necessary to get the job done efficiently? Have you ever done something like this before? The questions seem endless and can be incredibly stressful if you do decide to tackle the project solo. Luckily, there is one thing that you can do to help alleviate some of the stress and general confusion: partner up or collaborate with another organization in the community.
While it may seem intimidating to ask others for help in your area, it is actually a smart move when it comes to recreational or park related projects. Those in charge of planning the facility project “might find it worthwhile to consider collaborating with other organizations in their community to achieve mutually beneficial facility goals” which otherwise might have been to difficult to attain without the “financial weight that combined assets can bring” . Let’s say you happen to be a park agency who would like to work towards opening up a facility where community members can go to become more active. A potential partner might be a hospital or healthcare provider in your area as they would have a similar goal of keeping individuals healthy as well as be able to offer financial assistance.
Picking the right partner can be tricky, however, and demands a lot of planning and strategic thinking. Though tough, it is the collaboration with other entities in the community that can open up opportunities like being able to incorporate amenities such as a Sky Trail® or Clip ‘n Climb® climbing walls inside of a facility. But where to start and what are the benefits of community partnerships?
Choose those with similar visions.
For a joint facility development effort, the first partners to be considered should be “similarly focused agencies or governmental entities with unfulfilled building needs, as well as private organizations with compatible objectives in seeking a new facility solution” . There has to be something to gain or a goal to work towards for either side of the partnership. If there is sports team that needs an improved place to practice or host games and you belong to a local park agency who would like to provide sports entertainment as well as recreation in the form of adventure attractions for community members, you have an ideal partnership opportunity to cultivate.
Compatible missions are key. Try to find other private institutions, businesses or even non-profits with visions not unlike that of your organization as they will be the strongest candidates.
Joint benefits outweigh singular efforts.
When multiple entities or organizations are able to come together and combine their thoughts for a potential project as well as “back up the concept derived from the alliance with unified financial and planning resources to realize a new sports or recreation facility” those involved are able to complete something that otherwise would be “financially impractical” or simply unattainable without additional support . If you’re able to secure a partnership that yields great results, it is a win for your agency, the other partnering organization and the community as a whole if it means something like a new facility with adventure attractions for all ages.
All in all, separates forces are ultimately stronger together and partnering with one another in a community can lead to goals being achieved that will benefit those involved and the end user.
To read more about municipalities, urban adventure facilities or parks, click the link below and see how adventure products can fit within this industry!
 Williams, M. (2009, January). Design Corner: Partnering for Win-Win Results. Retrieved from http://recmanagement.com/feature/200901GC02/1.