Your team has been doing things one way for as long as anyone can remember. Now the decision to shake things up is met with plenty of mumbled (or not so mumbled) complaints and resistance. Start setting the resisting team members’ minds at ease by addressing resistance in a calm, factual manner. Here is some common resistance associated with implementing a new CMMS.
When chainsaws are maintained and used correctly, they are powerful, useful tools helping with tree care and removal, clearing thick brush, and cutting fallen branches into movable pieces. Conversely, chainsaws could be one of the most dangerous pieces of small equipment your team uses when handled and maintained incorrectly. Here are some things to keep in mind before, during, and after using a chainsaw.
Maintenance managers must possess a particular skill set to ensure their crew gets on the same page and executes the tasks that need completion. What qualities do they possess that help them hire the right candidates, keep a team motivated, and stay on top of the ever-changing needs of a park and recreation department? Here are 4 important leadership skills we’ve noticed in maintenance managers.
After the last mowing, don’t just roll the mowers to the back of the garage and forget about them until spring. The end of the mowing season is a perfect time for inspecting and winterizing commercial lawn mowers. Here are some things to do before the mowers make it into storage for a well-deserved break.
How can your team be more consistent? One way is by creating standard operating procedures.  A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a document that clearly states the steps to do a task. Learn more about these important documents and how to make effective SOPs.
Many park districts, parks & recreation departments, and community organizations streamline their operations, registration, marketing, and maintenance tasks with the help of software. The days of spreadsheets, word processing, and an email account getting the job done have long passed. And for a good reason! Software gets designed to make our lives easier. Let's look at some types of parks and recreation software to improve the efficiency of teams and operations.
Your crew is the heart and muscle of the maintenance department. Your vehicles and heavy equipment are the backbones your crew relies on to get work completed. Having an established system of maintaining and monitoring your fleet requires many moving parts. Here are some steps to help ensure your vehicles are safe, dependable, and ready to respond when needed.
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.



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