Some essential factors to be considered while building a community park

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Some Essential Factors to be considered while building a community park

Parks  are critical to a community’s spirit. There’d be little social interaction without public parks, with no play space for kids and no enjoyable outdoor resting space for adults. From splash parks to dog parks to playgrounds, these public green spaces are recreational areas that serve community members’ needs.

Analyze essential factors while Choosing a Park Location

Building a park always starts with identifying the location. If you’ve got a park location in mind, or are looking at several potential sites, consider these fundamental factors:

  • Accessibility: Is the location wheelchair accessible, and can it be easily reached by public transport, car, or bike? The easier it is to get to the park, the more use it will get.

  • Character: Is there a historical location or particular area that could attract park-goers for more than just nature? Use your community’s unique characteristics and history to drive park traffic and strengthen community ties.

  • Safety: Is the area you’re considering situated somewhere that’s deemed to be safe, with a low crime rate?

Nowadays, planning committees develop new parks on lands designated. Space could be unused and open for development, or it could be an area that is already associated with public property such as school grounds. Likewise, it could even be private property turned public by estate grants or service organization purchases.

Regardless, all parks must have public access if they’re going to serve the community’s highest and best needs. Where do you begin to discover that information?

The next best public park design tip is to know your market and community.

Involve the Community During the Planning Process

Park design isn’t a solitary process — nor should it be. No one knows more about the community’s needs than its citizens. Bringing the community into the park design phase is critical. Collective community minds will identify strengths and weaknesses in proposed and developing plans. Concerned citizens are also sure to voice likes and dislikes.

Analyze the Market and Community

You want to make sure your park is engaging for kids if the spot you’re considering is central to several local schools. Simultaneously, the park should engage local seniors if the property is within walking distance of senior communities or homes. A recent study showed that while seniors represented 20 percent of the population, they were only 4 percent of park users. As a park designer, you want to consider building participation and encouraging community members across diverse groups to take advantage of their local green spaces.

Roles of Landscaping and Architecture

You can certainly let your creativity run the show when planning your space’s amenities and general layout, but some of your park design will depend on the exact area it’s in.

Consider the natural terrain. In many cases, it’s best to work with the ground, not against it. Existing slopes, banks, and flat spaces enhance the native feel of your park. There are far too many “parking-lot” parks, which should be the polar opposite of your design.

Provide Options for Multiple Park Activities

Choosing how to develop your park space for various activities or play is often a primary component in virtually all park designs. Will you have open fields for different sports, a pavilion with grills for party rentals and cookouts? Or restrooms on-site? Are you putting in a pond with fountains? Or will this be a smaller space, with just enough room for a few well-selected playground components?

Most parks in residential areas do plan for playground equipment as a must-have feature. There’s a massive amount of ingenuity and creativity that goes into designing today’s modern playground equipment. Consider these potential features for your park area and park playground:

  • Playground structures

  • Playground elements

  • Inclusive products

  • Outdoor fitness equipment

  • Site amenities, such as benches and picnic tables

  • Shade structures

Choosing Appropriate Playground Equipment for a Park

Playground structures often include several components and designs specialized for specific age groups, while individual components allow you to customize.

Age group ranges for play equipment are often broken into the following categories: two to five years for preschoolers, two to 12 years for inclusive play, and five to 12 years for active or older kids. Some community park playground components often include:

  • Activity and play panels: From lean-out enclosures to the Tic-Tac-Toe panel you remember from your playground experiences, these panels promote interactive social skills and learning throughout the playground.

  • Bridges: A suspension or arch bridge is an opportunity to travel between playground components and decks.

  • Climbers: Enjoy a Circle or Belt Skyway, or even a log climber. Having a variety of climbing components in the playground means kids of all ages can play.

  • Crawl tubes: Different angles and lengths — straight or inclined — lets kids explore where tunnels lead.

  • Decks: Climbing to new heights often results in a new view, and towers with multiple decks give kids a chance to see the playground from a new angle.

  • Ramps: Kids can learn about levels, degrees, and slope changes with a few well-placed entrance ramps.

  • Slides: A playground wouldn’t be complete without at least one tube or slide.

  • Transfer points and steps: Moving through tubes, across bridges, and up or down ramps is all the more enjoyable when there are steps and risers to climb along the way.

  • Accessories: Adding accessories to your playgrounds, like Fun Fones, binoculars, and tables, to name just a few customization options, adds to the fun.

Add Efficient Lighting to Your Park Design

Another vital component in park design is your lighting. You want your park to be used as much as possible and not unnecessarily restricted to daylight hours. Natural lighting might not seem crucial during the summer months when days are long and nights are short. However, that quickly changes in the fall and as it stays light-restricted until spring.

Like playground equipment, there are a lot of lighting options available for park design. The best advice any park planner can get is to work with a theme. That doesn’t only apply to the park’s overall theme — whether that’s recreating a historical look, capitalizing on natural features, or introducing artificial, imaginary worlds. It includes designing your light plan to complement the entire park theme and remain relatively unnoticed. But bright!

When designing your park and park playground, remember that today’s park patrons and kids are looking for components they’ll enjoy. Visiting your playground has to be a fun event that keeps visitors returning.

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