Portland’s park referendum was close last month, but one thing was beyond dispute. City residents treasure their parks and open spaces, even when they disagree on how they should be managed.

This week, there were two developments that show that City Hall is taking its responsibility seriously, and finding partners to work with.

On Monday, Mayor Michael Brennan announced an initiative to inventory and assess all public property and develop a long-term vision for how each should be used. Then on Thursday, Brennan had a phone conference with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to express their support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which will expire this year without action from Congress.

The land inventory will be done in partnership with two non-profits, the Trust for Public Lands and Portland Trails. They will look at more than just properties that are officially parks, but also city-owned lots and buildings acquired in a variety of ways.

Some of these parcels may be community open space, but others can be better used in other ways. With the cost of land in the city driving up the price of housing, some city-owned parcels would be best developed to create affordable units.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a partnership with the federal government that has built playgrounds and improved public spaces in town for a half century. Created in 1965, the fund collects fees from oil and gas drilling and is supposed to return $900 million to public projects every year. But that amount was only distributed once, with dispersals as low as $30 million as the money is spent elsewhere in the massive federal budget.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins has submitted an amendment that would renew the fund before the law expires and make spending the full amount on conservation projects mandatory. This would create a predictable source of revenue for states and cities to protect and improve public assets.

In recent years, Portland taxpayers have had to make up for losses in state and federal funding, as state budget cuts and federal sequestration have become a fact of life. Cities like Portland are right to look for partners that will help them preserve their assets and, when appropriate, to build on them.