Often, time management problems for the maintenance team reflect underlying issues. When planning, scheduling, and communication get established, time management gradually falls into place. Here are some tips for implementing a planning and scheduling system.
Recreation management software makes it easier to organize everything that's going on in the facility and track data for more efficient programming in the future. But a lot of the facility management software doesn't address a key component of the recreation facility.
As we near the end of summer, we're easing into a critical time for turfgrass. It's an opportunity to provide the conditions to help lawns recover from summer and grow stronger as the cooler weather arrives. Plan these tasks to grow more resilient, durable, and healthy turfgrass.
Do you know one of the best things about paperwork? When you find a way to reduce it.  That's the idea behind standing work orders. Creating standing work orders can save time and administration costs. But there are some things to consider and be aware of before adding them to your workflow.
If your team plans to plant trees and shrubs, following these best practices to protect your investment and help ensure the plantings make it to maturity. Get the tips and best practices for planting and maintaining trees and shrubs. Discover what to do before, during, and after planting.
Even well-constructed trails need routine inspections and maintenance. Resolving any emerging drainage, erosion, and tread issues quickly saves time, money, and resources in the long run. Let’s take a look at some of the more common trail problems. Then we will dive into a few trail maintenance tasks to keep on your team’s radar.  
More maintenance teams are using software to communicate better, work more efficiently, and ensure tasks don't get overlooked. Furthermore, agencies--including those in the parks and recreation sector--use software for easier tracking, documenting, and reporting. The software that's making a big difference in the way crews work is called a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Let's look at how a CMMS works, what's needed to implement it, and how this software benefits maintenance crews and agencies.
Summer programming can take a toll on turfgrass. Coupled with drought-like conditions, your turf could be facing some serious damage. Planning how to care for turfgrass before, during, and after a drought creates stronger root systems, more resilient turf, and a better chance grass will fully recover.
As we ease into the summertime, outdoor recreation activities spike. Many programs take place during the day, but more agencies accommodate busy schedules by increasing their after-dark programming.  As a result, agencies need to ensure the areas where programs take place are lit appropriately. This begins with understanding outdoor lighting systems and how to maintain them.
Playgrounds are one of the most popular features of parks and recreation agencies. 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. Playground inspections are one of the most effective ways of discovering and addressing safety issues before they become a major problem.
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.
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. Building maintenance is an essential part of ownership. When done correctly, it often goes unnoticed. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, preventative maintenance addresses needs before they affect operations and programming.
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.
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. It's our responsibility to make sure these playgrounds are safe and secure for park visitors of all ages. Read through some inspection suggestions for the various areas of a park.
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?
Sports get people outdoors, active, and interacting with each other. Baseball and softball are perfect examples of sports' positive impact on individuals. A parks and recreation maintenance team must ensure that baseball fields are in good condition so everyone can safely enjoy their favorite sports.

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. People are switching careers. To compete with the private sector, we need to understand what the future generation of professionals value and set them up with the tools to excel in their career development.
Parks & recreation professionals wear many hats. One of the most important “hats” is being a steward of natural areas. Developing areas where people appreciate beauty allows us to lead by example and respect the environment. This stewardship is a vital responsibility impacting current visitors and future generations.
We’ve made it through the holidays and are now bracing for the cold, snowy months ahead. For many parts of the country, snow removal is an inevitable part of the winter maintenance workflow. The sometimes relentless task of snow removal requires preparation well before the first snowflake reaches the ground.
Let’s face it, the last couple of years have been difficult--we’ve been thrown into unknown territory and did the best we could to manage despite the uncertainty.
Let’s face it…Those using your parks and facilities have little knowledge or interest about the maintenance required to keep things running smoothly and looking great. Users just want the area available and in good condition so they can enjoy their experience.
The maintenance operating budget can be a very useful tool for getting insights about emerging trends or conditions affecting your department. Examining the current operating budget can help develop more accurate future budgets and suggest changes to inefficient or undesirable workflow.
One of the best ways to make sure your crew stays on schedule is by ensuring everything works properly. Vehicles, building systems, tools, and other equipment need to be inspected and maintained routinely to ensure they work when you need them.
As you tweak your system to prioritize and schedule tasks, you’re going to want to find the best way to assign those tasks to your crew. Of course, this comes with its own set of nuances and challenges. Ultimately, you want to match the workload with the workforce. Simple enough…at least in theory.



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