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Work on a major park project, something that gets people excited.
"In a very big way, they've undertaken a lot of small projects that we wanted to do but couldn't get going," said Dewey Potter, spokeswoman for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department. "They have a knack for raising money."
She said the city and the foundation get along well, although the potential for conflict existed at the beginning. Clearly defining roles, expectations and clear communication eased tensions, she said.
Another challenge conservancies face is the competition from other established nonprofits, said Sticha of the Como society. But, she said, people seem to love the Como campus, illustrated by the increase in membership from 500 to 3,000 and growth in endowment from $12,000 to $5.5 million.
Daubert, who has toured Twin Cities parks, said St. Paul residents are similar to their counterparts in Seattle when it comes to parkland.
"People live there not because of the weather, but because they feel passionate about parks," she said. "Open spaces, natural resources, bodies of water are such vital parts of the fabric of the community."
Chris Havens 651-298-1542
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