Summer is just around the corner, and that means your community’s parks and recreational areas are about to get busy! City planners know the importance of maintaining an outdoor space that meets the needs of the people who use it ⏤ whether that means adding new site furnishings to a picnic area for gatherings or updating playground surfacing to be accessible for those with mobility challenges.
With people itching to get some fresh air, how will you prepare your park for summer? Here are a few ways you can ensure your park’s visitors have a safe, enjoyable time.
1. CHECK FOR REPAIRS
Even the toughest equipment or furnishings can start to show the wear and tear of years of use or being out in the elements. Checking for structural soundness in your community’s park should be a central safety procedure every year. It also helps make the park more inclusive! Here’s a checklist of things to watch out for:
- Does the playground equipment have loose bolts or anchors?
- Are there cracks or damage to any of your outdoor furnishings (tables, benches, shelters and shade structures) or play equipment?
- Do your surfaces (poured rubber, wood fiber, turf) have bare or broken spots?
2. UPDATE EQUIPMENT
Whether it’s due to the impact of years of use or simply the need to make the park more attractive to people of all ages, sometimes playground equipment needs updates. This is a great opportunity to bring in architecturally eye-catching pieces that fit into a park’s landscape and are sure to be fast favorites for visitors, like:
3. CREATE A GATHERING SPACE
Parks are one of the ultimate gathering spaces for communities. The right outdoor amenities can encourage a variety of social activities, from playdates and picnics to outdoor concerts and farmers markets. Consider adding the following:
- Outdoor grills or campfire rings for meal preparation
- Shelters and pavilions for parties, workshops or open-air concerts
- Benches and tables
4. EMBRACE ART
What elements in your local park reflect the unique ideas, history and environment of your community? Including an artistic flair can help an outdoor space reflect the community’s story and personality. It also encourages creativity and an appreciation for the outdoors! Here are a few ways to bring art into your community’s outdoor space:
- Bird nesting boxes or feeders that support local bird populations
- Insect houses or hotels to support local pollinator populations
- Community gardens or planters curated by local gardening or school groups
- Sculptures, murals and other artistic displays by local artists
- Outdoor musical instruments that inspire creativity through sound
5. MAKE CONVENIENCE KEY
Providing convenient elements in easy-to-access places is an effective way to help visitors feel satisfied and welcome. These furnishings don’t have to be over-the-top either. Here are a few simple ways you can make your park more comfortable for people:
- Trashcans within short walking distance from the picnic or shelter areas.
- Shaded seating near playgrounds for parents and kids to rest and cool off after play.
- Bike racks near the sidewalk, play area or trails.
- Bathrooms and shelters near park entrances and on longer trail systems or campgrounds.
- Signs with contact information or access point numbers for emergencies, such as inclement weather or accidents.
GET READY FOR SUMMER WITH ALL INCLUSIVE REC!
Ready to prep your community’s park for summer? Make it a fun, safe place for people of all ages and abilities to share their love of the outdoors, socialize, play and create together!
We know every park or rec area is as unique as the community it’s located in. All Inclusive Rec’s team of expert landscape architects can work with you to bring your vision to life ⏤ whether that vision is a revamped equipment area or picking furnishings to meet your neighborhood’s needs. We’re confident in our ability to find the best, most inclusive solutions for your community’s park ⏤ after all, it’s built into who we are.
Contact us today to start the conversation about what you or your fellow city planners are looking for in your outdoor spaces this season. You can also connect with a local representative by calling (573) 701-9787.