Neoliberal conservation and equity in the context of local parks and recreation: Stakeholder perceptions on public-non-profit partnerships

Nick A. Pitas, Samantha L. Powers, Andrew J. Mowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the face of persistent funding shortfalls, local park and recreation agencies oftentimes engage in neoliberal conservation strategies, including partnerships with nonprofit park foundations. Although such partnerships have been extensively studied in other contexts, there exists a lack of research examining these partnerships and their potential impact on equitable outcomes. The purpose of this study was to extend the existing body of research surrounding this neoliberal conservation strategy and its relationship to equity in the context of local park and recreation services. We analyzed in-depth interviews with leaders from agencies and foundations using an inductive qualitative method. Our results describe several roles for inequity in the agency-foundation relationship: as a call to action, as an outcome, as a process, and as an unresolved challenge. Based on these results, we discuss potential implications and provide a series of recommendations for advancing social justice in the delivery of park and recreation services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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