From intergenerational play to incorporating natural elements into community spaces, there’s a lot to consider when planning your community park project! Thinking about how people use parks and what they need from outdoor spaces will help you design a project that benefits everyone in your community. Current trends provide a clear picture of what features and activities people want in their park today.
All Inclusive Rec brings current trends and quality elements together to help more people enjoy your park, increase its visitor numbers and better serve the unique needs of your community.
Are you wondering what the upcoming park trends of 2023 will be? Read on to see how the three trends we have predicted will make an impact on park projects this year.
In 2023, inclusive community park designs mean increased accessibility and meeting the needs of all community members. This means everything, from playground equipment to amenities such as bathrooms, seating areas and walkways should be accessible to people with disabilities.
Another aspect of inclusion to consider are intergenerational playgrounds. These types of playgrounds continue to make positive impacts in community parks across the world due to their invitingly accessible activities, fitness opportunities and fun for older adults.
Both inclusive and intergenerational playgrounds are built with all possible park users in mind. Events hosted at your community park should also plan for inclusivity by ensuring vendors and planned activities follow accessibility policies so everyone can enjoy the park. Here are a few examples of ways your community park can include everyone:
- Picnic areas and shelters that offer easy access from the parking area for those with mobility challenges.
- Fitness equipment options that those with handicaps or older adults can use.
- Playground equipment that is accessible by those with handicaps or adults.
- Trail options that are easier to traverse and shorter in length.
- Seating areas throughout the park.
- Sight-impaired-friendly signage (like large font sizes or braille) throughout the park.
- Additional handicap parking spaces in the lot.
Looking for more ways to make your park’s plan more inclusive? Check out this article on why inclusion is important and the park elements that support it. There are other, subtle ways to create an environment of inclusivity too: Self-directed activities are a great way for some people to move through the park or activities at their own pace.
Although progress on vaccines has alleviated some of the restrictions and dangers caused by the pandemic, individuals and families are still opting to engage in more self-directed activities in community areas. Offering self-directed activities or areas allows visitors to better take in the natural surroundings, move at their own pace (a big benefit to increasing inclusivity!) and just enjoy some quiet time away from the busy world.
Your community’s recreational area can support this need for individual fun and exploration with these ideas:
- Walking or bike paths
- Outdoor individual fitness equipment
- Individual seating
- Opportunities to discover individual activities like nature scavenger hunts or geologic and historical information
- Self-guided tours through historical or geologically interesting parts of your community park
- Free-to-use shade areas for individuals to study, enjoy an outdoor lunch, or just take in the park’s natural scenery.
With perks like enjoying quiet time, boosting creative thinking and practicing problem-solving, self-directed activities are beneficial to both adults and children. Adding areas or activities where people can appreciate the outdoors and complete an activity individually is a great way to ensure everyone can enjoy your park in their own way. You want people to be able to take in your park and what makes it unique, whether that’s the landscape or a favorite activity.
Over the past few years, we’ve watched interest in environmentally friendly elements expand with the public’s interest in natural spaces. Having your project emphasize and value the environment is appealing for many modern parkgoers.
How can your community park project add sustainability to its designs and goals? Here are a few ideas.
Take advantage of the popularity of self-sufficiency and healthier living by installing a community garden, botanical garden or planters to encourage all ages to interact with plant life and learn about gardening. Use natural, upcycled or environmentally friendly elements throughout the park, like rubber safety surfaces made from recycled car tires or sustainably-made playground structures. Rubber surfacing is easier for people with mobility challenges, such as wheelchair users, to traverse too! Incorporate natural elements like trees, boulders or water sources into the layout of the park for shade, outdoor fitness and more. Encourage low-carbon traveling to, from and throughout your park with bike racks and walking trails. Place trash receptacles around the park to encourage proper disposal of garbage or pet waste.
People are actively looking for visible elements of eco-awareness in the businesses and products they engage with — and parks are no exception! It’s easy to meet this need and promote your community park’s green initiatives when sustainability is an integral part of its structures, management and vision.
Create an Outdoor Space that Meets Your Community’s Needs in 2023
What trends are you hoping to implement in your community park’s 2023 plan? Whether it’s making the park more inclusive, considering self-directed activities or becoming more environmentally friendly, these three trends can add value to your community. Get inspired and see what we can do by viewing our photo gallery.
All Inclusive Rec is ahead of the game when it comes to planning and implementing upcoming trends. Our partners enjoy our commitment to transparent communication and planning, from the big picture down to the specific project details. We value inclusion so much it’s in our name, embedded into who we are and everything we do. We’re also proud to offer products only from trusted vendors in the recreation industry.
Are there any new ideas and features you want to include in your park or outdoor space? Talk to us about your community’s needs and your vision for a park that will fulfill them. You can also connect with a local representative by calling (573) 701-9787.