For 48 years, Greensboro Beautiful and the City of Greensboro have partnered together towards the common goal of conserving and enhancing the beauty and ecology of our community. There's a lot to love about our public-private partnership. Because each entity brings unique skills and resources to the table, the relationship is highly effective and mutually beneficial.
While most Greensboro residents can readily recognize and appreciate the outcomes of this arrangement – the educational programs, neighborhood tree plantings, public gardens, garden events, and litter pickups – some may not know the nuts and bolts of the arrangement.
Greensboro Beautiful raises private funds from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fulfill our mission. Each year, our Board of Directors approves an operating budget that includes funding for that year's projects and programs. We also contribute to a Tree Fund that supports tree-planting projects and education; and we save for future projects and maintenance through growing endowments held by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
Because of our arrangement with the City of Greensboro, nearly 100% of Greensboro Beautiful's private funds go directly to our projects and programs rather than overhead and administrative expenses. The City of Greensboro – through the Parks and Precreation Department -- provides full-time staff, office space, phones, and other equipment and supplies necessary to conduct the business of the organization. In addition, many City of Greensboro Departments contribute time and resources to the effort.
For example, when we conduct a NeighborWoods tree planting, the City of Greensboro Field Operations Department uses their staff and equipment to dig holes, the Planning Department provides the expertise of their City Arborist to select the proper tree varieties, and the Parks & Recreation Department recruits and coordinates volunteers. Greensboro Beautiful provides volunteers, supplies, and plant material, and Master Gardeners help with education and instruction during the tree planting. Both entities work together on marketing, promotion, and neighborhood engagement. Ongoing tree maintenance is provided by neighborhood residents with tree care instructions provided by City staff.
The arrangement works in part because all of Greensboro Beautiful projects occur on public property. We plant trees in the public right of way, not on private property. We develop gardens on public land, not private. Our garden events are always free and open to the public.
The public-private partnership between the City of Greensboro and Greensboro Beautiful maximizes public benefit at minimum taxpayer cost. In the end, this merging of public and private interests creates a win-win for all of us!