As much fun as we have creating a brand new playground from scratch (and do we ever have fun!), we also firmly believe that creating a new place to play doesn’t always mean building from the ground up.
We work with many city managers, urban planners and landscape architect firms to create community parks within limited budgets or limited space for a brand new build; we help find opportunities for little upgrades with big impact.
Here’s a few of our favorite ways to invest in upgrading an existing park or playground:
- Seating: adding benches and tables can create quiet areas to sit, rest and observe or add new opportunities for community gatherings and social skills development. Adding seating like loungers or curved benches can also help add an extra layer of design to the overall layout of your park.
- Shelter: shelter structures are a great way to promote the space as a gathering point for the community. In addition to adding protection from the elements – which can help encourage longer participation in the park - shelter structures can also help encourage group gatherings, increasing the reach of use for your space.
- Waste Management: adding, upgrading or increasing the waste management of your space is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and encourage litter control, keeping your park clean and beautiful. Adding receptacles for recycling and composting also help demonstrate your park communities’ social responsibility values.
- Recycling: In addition to recycling receptacles, another way to integrate sustainability into your park is by using elements made from recycled products. Many park features are available in recycled materials, from benches to waste bins – and even the surfacing of the playground! Recycled rubber is an increasingly popular choice for creating a smooth, even surfacing that makes the playground easier to access for all levels of mobility (and right now, Alberta parks and playgrounds can apply for a grant through the Alberta Recycling Association!).
- Adding a fitness component: Us adults are really just big kids at heart, aren’t we? The value of outdoor movement has no age. Integrating fitness-based equipment, like pull-up bars or outdoor weight machines, is a great way to encourage more outdoor fun for all ages.
- Creating more inclusive play: upgrading existing equipment or adding 1-2 new pieces of equipment designed to facilitate more inclusive play for all can be a really powerful way to create more play for your community. Lower platforms, additional ramps and our popular Expression Swing are just some of the inclusive tools we design into playgrounds that make it easier for everyone to play more together.
Parks and playgrounds can easily be given new life by adding in one or two new additions to the space. From seating and shade to a piece of new equipment or a the addition of a compost and recycling, new integrations into your playground can help extend the life of – and interactions with – your park space.
Ready to add to your playground? Contact us to get started today.