The Rethinking Parks Replication Award is seeking organisations and partnerships who are well placed to replicate and run some of the most promising and innovative operating models for parks. The Bournemouth Parks Foundation is one of a number of examples of promising models to build on and adapt.
The Bournemouth Parks Foundation is a charitable organisation founded in January 2015. It was awarded funding through the first Rethinking Parks programme and became an independent local parks charity able to raise individual, legacy and corporate donations .
Although the Foundation is independent, they work alongside Bournemouth Borough Council with the aim to help raise the much-needed funds for improvements and enhancements beyond what the council can provide. The team are currently involved in projects across wildlife conservation, landscape restoration, sculptures, art and even a brand-new aviary for birds in Bournemouth Gardens.
We go above and beyond our parks' normal maintenance, transforming them into captivating spaces in which to relax, learn, exercise and play. Bournemouth Parks Foundation
How do they fund these projects? The project to rebuild Bournemouth’s Aviary is led by volunteers and funded entirely by donations; in fact, they have currently - at the time of publishing - raised £84,970 towards their target of £200,000. They recently created a pocket park in the Kinson area, raising £17,000.
Over the summer of 2017, Bournemouth Parks Foundation also introduced free yoga sessions to Central Gardens Bournemouth in partnership with the Fine Family Foundation. These projects show that given a good cause, a diverse range of organisations and local people are willing to donate and give time to public parks. The Foundation has made this easier through online or text donation options, volunteering opportunities and their ‘leave a legacy’ incentive.
The very act of setting up the new Foundation has created a dedicated organisational space that focuses specifically on parks; drawing together financial and other resources. This allows a diverse range of stakeholders to contribute to making Bournemouth’s parks a sustainable community resource for future generations.