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Playgrounds are one of the most popular features of parks and recreation agencies. They are an excellent place for kids to blow off some steam, socialize, and improve their strength and motor skills.

 

More children and families will be at the playgrounds as we head into the summer months. Increased usage often means a greater risk of damaged equipment or unsafe conditions. 

 

Parks and recreation agencies have the responsibility to protect the safety of those using their parks and facilities. This responsibility includes identifying, addressing, and minimizing risk in areas and programming.

 

Risk occurs when a hazard may cause personal injury, property or environmental damage, economic loss, or death. Hazards are conditions unknown or misunderstood by a visitor that may result in injury. Examples of hazards include:

Our facilities need attention to stay operational. Scheduling inspections and maintenance tasks that detect and address potential problems ensure facilities remain safe, secure, and comfortable for public usage. 

 

At some point, you will find yourself searching for new maintenance equipment. There is a lot of building maintenance equipment out on the market. How will you know what’s best for your facility?

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment while searching. The latest technology, newest innovations, or bargain prices may catch your eye. But, of course, you don’t want to buy something that may not be the right fit for your facility.

 

Our collective impact on the environment is undeniable. It makes sense to find and implement strategies that reduce our footprint on the Earth. After all, we want to be sure future generations get the same--or better--opportunities to enjoy our assets and natural resources.

 

More parks & recreation departments are adopting sustainability plans to ensure better health for the planet and find ways to save energy, work more efficiently, and preserve the land they manage.

 

Parks & recreation departments provide safe, attractive, and fun environments for visitors to enjoy. The daily work of the maintenance department helps ensure these visitors remain safe.  

 

The maintenance team has the essential responsibility of eliminating as many potential safety threats as possible. Understanding the role maintenance plays in the public’s safety helps create better strategies for safer areas.  

 

For many parts of the country, spring starts the growing season. Conditions make the grass grow rapidly. You want to be sure your mowers can keep up. 

 

A little upfront work can prevent equipment failure and workflow disruptions as your crew maintains the turf that visitors enjoy.

 

Start the season out right by doing the inspections and maintenance that ensure the mowers work efficiently. Schedule and perform these preventative maintenance tasks on all your mowers. 

It's all over the news. Signs are in store windows. It seems like everybody is advertising… We're hiring! And, as the growing season begins, you're probably looking to fill some last-minute seasonal job openings. Of course, finding quality seasonal workers can be challenging. Workers are demanding better pay, hours, and other benefits. Your operating budget has its limits.

Playgrounds are a source of joy for families. It's an opportunity for children to get physical activity while their imaginations run wild. Many fond childhood memories occur in the playgrounds we work hard to maintain.

 

Gas prices are at an all-time high. There's no indication they will go down anytime soon. The dramatic price increase will undoubtedly strain many parks & recreation department budgets during the growing season.

So how do we navigate the significant rise in operation costs?

There's probably not one single answer. You'll likely need to develop a few strategies to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

One thing to consider…

Parks & recreation departments offer the opportunity for people to unplug from devices and enjoy experiences to enhance their physical, mental, and social lives. Sports get a wide range of people outdoors, active, and interacting with each other. Baseball and softball are perfect examples.

It’s nearly Spring. Kids are getting excited for Little League. Baseball and softball leagues have formed. Groups of people get together for a fun pickup game of ball.

Make sure your fields are ready!

As we slowly ease into post-pandemic life, we know things are never going back to how they used to be. Our habits, priorities, and how we use our leisure time changed forever.

Just look at what’s been happening in the past couple of years. Exercise and fitness became a new pursuit for many. More people use parks to help relieve anxiety and connect with nature. We’ve discovered--with some creativity--how to make virtual recreation programming work.

As you prepare for warmer weather, you want to make sure recreational areas are a source of pride for your department and joy for the patrons. Preventing and eliminating litter is a top priority.    

Public parks offer many benefits for those who use them. Litter, however, can distract and degrade the experience. In fact, poorly maintained sites with visible debris distract from patrons' perceived quality and safety of an experience. 

Times are changing. The beginning of this decade dramatically accelerated the change. The pandemic--and just about everything else during this turbulent time--made many people reevaluate their priorities and professional goals.

Baby boomers are retiring. People are switching careers. Employees demand more from their employers.

According to Inc., millennials will make up about 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Thanks to technology, social media, and current events, they grew up with a different worldview than older generations.

Parks & recreation professionals wear many hats. One of the most important “hats” is being a steward of natural areas. This stewardship is a vital responsibility impacting current visitors and future generations.

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