With political support and funding levels up, urban parks in the U.S. are in the midst of their biggest boom in the last 50 years. From Houston to San Francisco to Chicago, neighborhood park activists have become increasingly successful at getting city hall to focus on their concerns. Another big shift has been the amount of private donations going toward funding for public spaces. “It’s become socially ‘cool’ to give money to parks,” says Tupper Thomas, administrator for New York’s Prospect Park. Some park advocates warn of becoming too reliant on private money, fearing it might cause public funding levels to sag. But most celebrate what they say are the fruits of private-public partnerships: more park land and cleaner, safer parks.