Community Park: Important or Waste of Resources?
How important is your local park to your community? Yes, it is easy to assume I mean just the commercial playground, but I mean the whole park. In today’s ever-immersive media, is the local community park an endangered species?
The 2017 City Park Facts Report by the Trust for Public Land noted that there were 22,764 parks in the top 100 largest cities. They also found that 69% of people living in those cities are just a 10-minute walk from a park. You can find 365 skate parks, 420 pickleball courts, and 13,554 playgrounds in those parks.
With those big numbers, you may question if your local community even needs a public park with commercial plagyround equipment, basketball hoops, or pickleball court. Can’t the members of your community just drive to the next town and save your town the pain of researching grants and fundraising?
Let me tell you about my local community park and its role in the lives of all 948 people in the tiny little town.
The Local Park
The park itself sits on about 3.2 acres of well-watered grass. It is your typical country community park that is big on space but low on funds. The ball diamond and basketball hoops are OK but not top-of-the-line, and the tiny skate park makes a great attempt but is actually used by kids playing tag more than skater bros.
The picnic pavilion is fine, and the commercial playground is OK, but nothing unique or mindblowing. There are a few swings, an old-fashioned climbing apparatus, and three chin-up bars. The park is ringed by an asphalt walk rough from the tree roots invading the path.
All in all, there is nothing that would make people drive out of their way to come to our local park. The biggest feature is the wide open, grassy spaces. Overall, it is your typical community park.
What makes it special is watching how the community uses the park.
The Community and Their Park
My house sits directly across from the park, and since I work for a playground company that is launching its commercial playground that we want to install in community parks, I have been keeping an eye on the park. I may be what they call “a bit nosy.” I keep glancing out the window, watching the comings and goings.
And you would be surprised about how much life the citizens share with the park.
There are the homeschooled kids who exit their houses and run over to play for a while, burning off some mid-morning steam. As the school day ends and the weather is nice, helmeted kids begin circling around the park on their bikes or scooters.
Little children are being pushed on the swings by their parents or climbing up on the commercial playground to zoom down the slide. There is a lot of running, playing, and, occasionally, kit flying!
Early in the morning, you will see people exercising on the path around the park. Pairs of exercising friends power walk while, later in the day, Moms and Dads appear with strollers to get some fresh air and exercise with their babies.
Funny enough, I just drove home this point by literally scooting away from my desk to take a 10-minute walk around the park to take advantage of a momentary stop in the rain.
Allow me to speak from my personal experience here. I spent many hours with my kids at the park throughout the years.
We needed to burn off energy or give Mom a break for a while. When my children were younger, I would push them on the swings and play “Sea Monster” on the commercial playground. Now, we practice various sports, with softball being the momentary focus.
The local park has always been the perfect place for my little family to go and enjoy the nice weather when we need a break from our home.
Watching the park throughout the day, I see many other families sharing that same story. The local park is a haven for families needing a break, fresh air, and a reset on their day.
A dizzying array of different groups use the local pavilion. From local churches to the Corvette Club to local businesses, family gatherings, or movie nights in the park, the pavilion is kept busy, and the grassy areas are filled with lawn chairs and people enjoying food.
Now, this is where the blog post takes a weird turn, but it is a perfect example of how a local park can help your community members who are in… let’s say, a desperate situation.
My little community is tucked about halfway between two much larger cities, with people commuting to work in both directions.
The cities are perfectly spaced so that if you enjoy an extra cup of coffee, nature will take its course about the time you would hit our local park. The endless line of cars that pull over and use the bathrooms is endless. It is a local joke, and anyone living within the park’s site laughs about the steady stream of cars stopping and going.
While not something you would brag about, our local community park provides an essential service for those passing through! Your local community park may offer benefits that weren’t even part of the vision!
The more our society and culture embrace technology that keeps us screen-oriented and sitting, the more important local community parks become. Especially with the cost of housing excluding many from owning a home with lots of backyard to run and play in, the local community park provides space for running, playing, and meeting new friends.
King Swings Commercial believes the local community park can be a place for kids to play outside. However, community parks don’t just happen. They must be advocated for, paid for, and maintained by paid staff and volunteers from the community. We understand that funding a local park can be a huge undertaking.
That is why we offer high quality, affordable commercial plagyround equipment that we deliver and install to your site. There is no need to figure out how to get a separate company to install the playground or wrangle up a volunteer force; King Swings Commercial is your one-stop shop for your commercial playground needs!
Give us a call! We know the value of each community park regardless of size and would be happy to help you with any commercial playground questions you have!