Idaho Parks and Recreation Department director David Langhorst is asking for approval to raise money for state parks through corporate sponsorships.
Langhorst said the agreements with companies could help pay for educational programs and park facilities.
“And there are many companies that really like parks and they see some value in partnering with us for their own outreach and marketing purposes,” he said. “We know of other examples. In higher ed, where you see Nike swooshes on uniforms, company names on buildings.”
Langhorst said company logos would most likely appear at the bottom of interpretive signs, on park materials or on structures. He does not foresee giving a company naming rights -- so, no Micron State Park, for example.
Langhorst said the department is trying to find creative ways to raise revenue.
Almost all of the parks budget comes from money raised in the parks, mainly through user fees and permits. Only 6 percent comes from the state's general fund.
“We've been asked to be entrepreneurial in our approach,” Langhorst said.
Langhorst predicted the department could collect $20,000 or more in the first year from corporate sponsorships.
In a related endeavour, Airstream is expected to unveil an Idaho-themed trailer later this spring. A portion of the profits will go to Idaho's parks. It's tied to the 50th anniversary of the state parks department.