The national model of public/private partnerships to manage and fundraise for parks is the Central Park Conservancy, founded in 1980.
This is the model format we hope to see eventually happen with the American River Parkway and you can read about it on our news page on our website, and you can find substantial details in structuring it—using a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) of Parkway adjacent governments and a JPA created nonprofit—on our strategy page.
A relative new comer to the field is the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, which, since its partnership began in 1998, has raised $45 million for the 1,700 acres of parks it manages, and that is amazing.
Here is an excerpt from their website.
“The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh's parks. In 1998, the Parks Conservancy signed an official public-private partnership agreement with the City of Pittsburgh to work together for the restoration of the city's four regional parks - Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley. Since then, the Parks Conservancy has raised $45 million toward park improvements, and has recently expanded into other city parks as time and resources permit.”