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Montgomery Parks Unveils New Corporate Sponsorship Policy

Policy approved by Montgomery County Planning Board on January 31, 2013 will help foster greater support for parks, facilities and programs through new revenue and partnerships.

SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) announced today the approval of a new Corporate Sponsorship Policy by the Montgomery County Planning Board on January 31, 2013. The policy will guide the development of a Corporate Sponsorship Program to be administered by the Montgomery Parks Foundation and aimed at generating non-tax based revenue to enhance the Department’s parks, facilities and services for the benefit of the public. The policy does not involve renaming entire parks nor does it involve selling parks. It is available on Montgomery Parks’ web page in the announcement section, or can be accessed directly at this link:

The Corporate Sponsorship Policy completes the first phase of the timeline for developing the Corporate Sponsorship Program. The policy was developed based on research and analysis of hundreds of park and county agencies around the nation that have active, successful corporate sponsorship programs, including local agencies and organizations such as the City of Gaithersburg Parks, Recreation and Culture and Bethesda Green, as well as large systems such as the City of Boulder, Colorado Parks and Recreation and Seattle Parks and Recreation, among many others. Research on these systems indicates that sponsorship programs can generate anywhere from $100,000 to $1,600,000 annually.

“We’ve already had sponsors for many of our programs, as well as facilities named for corporate donors—like the Discovery Center at SoccerPlex (South Germantown Recreational Park) for the Discovery Channel,” said Mary Bradford Director of Montgomery County Department of Parks.  “This approval will bring rules and order to the process, plus allow the Montgomery Parks Foundation to seek corporate sponsors for many more opportunities that could supplement our budget.”

During the next phase of the Corporate Sponsorship Program Parks and Foundation staff will develop varying levels of system-wide sponsorship packages and associated recognition benefits and standards. Once developed, these packages will be presented to the Planning Board for approval before the program is marketed to potential sponsors. The goals for the sponsorship program include:

  • Raise revenue through appropriate partner / sponsor programs;
  • Enhance, expand and sustain programs, facilities and services for the public;
  • Increase awareness of M-NCPPC and its programs and services among new audiences; and
  • Avoid or minimalize adverse impact on the park visitors’ overall experience and the visual qualities of the park environment.

“We appreciate the support of the Planning Board in approving the Corporate Sponsorship Policy and look forward to the next phase of developing the program,” said Debbie Rankin, Executive Director of the Montgomery Parks Foundation. “Montgomery County residents are fortunate to have a wonderful, robust park system, and, we are optimistic about this program as an opportunity to expand our county’s park assets and programs while establishing mutually beneficial relationships in the community.”

The sponsorship program will provide businesses and nonprofit organizations naming, sponsorship and advertising opportunities for park facilities and programs (naming rights for entire parks will not be considered), which could include:

  • Regional and recreational athletic fields;
  • Ice rinks;
  • Dog parks;
  • Picnic pavilions; and
  • Special events and programs (such as the Fall Harvest Festival, concert series, or the Garden of Lights holiday light show)

Status of the program will be provided annually in a report from the Montgomery Parks Foundation, presented to the Planning Board. Any organization interested in becoming a park sponsor should contact the Montgomery Parks Foundation.

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission – Montgomery Parks

Montgomery Parks manages more than 35,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 418 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems.

About the Montgomery Parks Foundation

The Montgomery Parks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established to support the creation, maintenance and improvements of Montgomery Parks’ facilities, open spaces, forests, wetlands and historic and cultural resources. The Foundation provides opportunities for county residents and businesses to support Montgomery Parks as members, donors, sponsors, and advocates, and actively seeks individual donations, sponsorships, legacy gifts, and endowments to support park operations, development and maintenance.