I spent an enjoyable day at Ardenwood Historic Farm, down in Fremont. Lots to see and do for kids — from picking apples, to riding the horse-drawn train, to exploring the historic farm.
The horse wrangler / train driver told me something interesting thing. The park is owned by the City of Fremont, is managed under contract by the East Bay Regional Park District, and much of the programming is provided by volunteers from the cooperating association. It’s the blacksmith, horse drawn train, and animals that brings the place alive. And that’s the volunteer part! Fortunately its seamless to the visitor and I bet most don’t have any idea that this three-way partnership is supporting their visit.
Seems like a great approach that plays to everyone’s strengths and could well be used many other places. Mind you, the volunteer did joke it was hard working with two public agencies and it had taken 20 years to build a new tractor barn. I guess nothing is ever perfect.