The changing seasons mean more indoor activities. The focus shifts from mowing and park maintenance to more facility maintenance. A well-maintained facility gives the public a safe, welcoming, functional environment to enjoy programming and events. Like our playgrounds and park assets, facilities benefit from routine inspections and maintenance tasks to stay at their best.
If your team finds its workflow disrupted by equipment breakdowns, facility issues, and constant park repairs, it may be time to examine your preventative maintenance plan. The best way of dealing with problems is by catching them before they become major issues. Scheduling routine preventative maintenance for your assets helps prevent breakdowns, injuries, and workflow disruptions.
If not already, there will probably come a time when everything your maintenance department does will need to be outlined. For those that have worked in the field for a long time, this may mean taking everything that’s become instinctual and turning it into something tangible. You may not even know where to begin. Here’s a starting point…
Parks and recreation agencies looking for more accessible, durable, and consistent surfacing may use unitary materials to surface their playgrounds. Are they worth the extra cost? Compared to loose-fill materials, these playground surfaces can require less maintenance throughout their lifespan. Learn about some of the more common unitary surfaces.
According to the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI), over 79% of all playground accidents are from children falling onto improper surfacing. In fact, surfacing is number 1 of the NPSI’s Dirty Dozen playground hazards. Choosing and maintaining suitable surface material for a playground helps reduce the risk of serious injuries. But what is suitable for your playgrounds?
If you have trails and paths that joggers, cyclists, and moms with strollers all use, there’s a good chance it’s made of asphalt. Asphalt provides a smooth, durable surface.The flexibility of asphalt allows it to withstand freeze-thaw cycles and last longer. When properly installed and maintained, it could last well over twenty years.
As the weather gets nicer, more activities get held outdoors. Some of those activities may go on until well after dark. Many parks have lighting systems to accommodate those that prefer evening recreation. But what impact are those lights having on the local area? Let’s look at light pollution, its effects, and what agencies can do to reduce it.
No matter how hard you work, there will inevitably come a time when your turf has issues. When you notice something strange happening to your turf, there’s a good chance that fungus is to blame. Understanding the often subtle differences among the diseases helps you find the most appropriate way to care for the affected area.
There are so many benefits of being in nature. As parks agencies, we have the opportunity and obligation to encourage those of all ages to reconnect with nature. There’s no doubt: many impressive playground structures and features are available to parks and recreation agencies. But one type of playground gaining more popularity offers more “natural” playground features.
It may be just 10 or 15 minutes of your morning, but it could significantly impact how your team handles the rest of the day. Leaders who take advantage of team huddles can align the team, focus on the day, and build rapport with each other. Learn how to make the most out of team huddles.
Maintaining ball fields helps keep the players safe and the field looking great. But, let’s face it, a lot of fields take a beating throughout the summer. The best way to keep your fields maintained: scheduling ballfield preventative maintenance early…and often. Here are some tasks to consider and schedule to help your ballfields during the season.
There may come a time when you’re in a conversation like this: We’re doing fine with paper. Why bother with digital work orders? Let’s take a closer look at paper and digital work orders so you can get a better understanding of which work order system best suits your agency’s needs.
Growing concerns about food sources have a lot of people considering growing their own food. Community gardens are an excellent opportunity for both gardening enthusiasts and novice green thumbs to have a space to grow their food and hone their skills. Learn what goes into setting up and maintaining a garden that serves the community’s needs.
Linear parks are growing in popularity in many urban areas. They offer a unique opportunity to transform old, unused infrastructure into spaces for recreation. These parks do more than breathe new life into unused land. Linear parks also offer the community several social, economic, and environmental benefits. Learn more about these unique types of parks.
Few things are as satisfying as seeing lush, full lawns in your parks or athletic fields. It takes a lot of work to get them there. And just as much work to maintain them throughout the season. Here is a brief primer on lawn care best practices to schedule for your assets.
Over 23 million households bought a pet during the pandemic. Many owners need a place to bring their dogs. That's why dog parks are one of the fastest-growing amenities park and recreation agencies can offer. Let’s look closer at dog parks, their benefits, and what to consider when adding one to your site.
When a park or facility has a maintenance issue, time matters. Minor issues often become big problems. An established work order system helps maintenance managers and their teams stay organized, prioritize appropriately, and help prevent disruptions in workflow or programming. Learn about work orders and how to make them more effective.
Signs convey an important message and impression to those who see them. Depending on the type of sign, they could be a sizable investment. Protecting that investment from the elements and vandalism ensures signs serve their purpose for as long as possible. Learn some best practices to help keep your signage looking great and strategies to minimize the effects of graffiti.
Signs serve a vital purpose in our parks and our facilities. Often, signs are the first thing that welcomes visitors and are present throughout the whole user experience. Carefully selecting the materials and design helps the signs display their messages better and longer. Here are some things to consider when adding signs to your parks and assets.
Networking at a conference is an excellent opportunity to connect with potential mentors, support systems, and future employers. For many, conversations initiated during the unstructured times are just as important as the educational sessions. Now that many conferences and trade shows are returning as in-person events, it’s a great time to brush up on the best practices to make the most of these networking opportunities.
If you’re looking to replace one of your older playgrounds or transform an outdoor space, here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Playground technology has come a long way since most of us were kids. You won’t have a shortage of playground structures and features to consider. There are a few predominant, interconnected themes present in many modern parks. Here are the four most common.
Winter is tough on facility roofs, especially in the northern climates of the United States. The snow, wind, ice, and frigid temperatures can quickly turn a minor roofing issue into a big deal. Learn about common winter roofing problems various recreation facilities face and what to look out for before, during, and after a winter storm hits.
Some great leaders are born that way. But, in reality, most aren’t. In fact, it’s estimated only 10 percent of people are natural-born leaders. What do the others do? They learn how to lead and develop a leadership mindset. Let’s take a closer look at what a leadership mindset is, why it’s important, and how to start developing it. 
January is the month many people try to create (and stick to) healthier routines. According to IHRSA, gym membership usually spikes 4 percent points in January, accounting for 12% of all new annual memberships. A well-maintained gym or recreation center will keep members returning (and renewing their memberships). But it’s more than just getting people in the door.
If you live in certain areas of the country, there will likely come a time when you'll need to clear snow from the roads, parking lots, and walkways of your assets. Ensuring the truck is appropriately stocked with winter safety gear and emergency replacement parts prepare your drivers for whatever issues arise. Here are some things to include...
Prescribed burns are one of the most effective ways to manage multiple land issues. It requires careful planning, trained technicians, and the right conditions to control the fire. The planning and hard work of controlled burns pay off. Areas with routine prescribed burns are healthier, safer, and more diverse than unmanaged lands.
Seasonal and lower-wage positions are common for many maintenance teams. Parks maintenance managers often struggle to keep these employees motivated. Effective leaders approach these employees with engaging ways to stay motivated, invested, and positive. And the good news...these are relatively simple strategies that are free to implement.
To those that don't know, invasive plant species can be attractive, fragrant, and even welcomed additions to gardens and landscaping.  Since they lack natural predators, they can take over large areas and destroy the native habitat. Learn more about invasive plant species, why they are so dangerous, and how we can help manage them in our parks and green spaces.
Almost every job has some level of stress. Work-related stress may take its toll on your team and lead to burnout. By recognizing burnout, creating a supportive, communicative work environment, and allowing the team to find more balance in life, you set the stage for a more productive, resilient team.
Climate change and the resulting severe weather have challenged us to address heat waves, wildfires, flooding, and more frequent and intense storms. One way to help reduce the impacts of these hazards is through nature-based solutions. Here is a quick primer on nature-based solutions, how they help, and some examples of common solutions communities use. 



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