You’ve got the basics — an amazing play area designed with multiple ages in mind and specialty mulch for soft landings — but some of the most useful park elements are often overlooked. From a dedicated (and safe) space for dogs, to special needs friendly swings, and even a place for families to gather, here are a few elements your park may be missing.

Dog Friendly Play Zone

More and more people visit dog parks each year — and you likely have a lot of canine visitors already. Creating a dedicated space allows you to keep pets off the playground and in a specific, gated location. A dedicated play zone gives you a place to post rules for pets and the park, doggy disposal bags, and even some fun agility training pieces just for pups. Best of all, it reduces the risk that a dog will interfere with or chase kids, and ensures your play area stays waste free.

Special Needs Swings and Equipment

A single special needs swing can overwhelmingly delight a child that would otherwise be unable to play. Children with physical disabilities are obvious candidates for this type of equipment, but kids with balance and gross motor skill issues would enjoy being able to use the equipment as well. Autism rates continue to climb, and many children who are on the spectrum have sensory issues that impact balance — but they benefit greatly from a swinging.

The motion of swinging can help soothe the vestibular system and benefits last long after the swinging has ended. Once a child with balance problems outgrows the full seats of a baby swing, they often can’t make the transition to a simple rubber seat; an oversized, special needs friendly swing, or disc makes the park accessible and enjoyable to everyone.

Fitness Equipment

Sturdy, freestanding fitness equipment can be used by adults and older teens to get fit while visiting the park. While some items may be out of reach, kids can also use fitness equipment for its intended purpose or for creative adventure play. More and more people are foregoing the gym in favor of exercising outdoors, and studies have shown that nature can assist in motivation, health, and well-being. Adding fitness to a park, playground, or nature trail really adds value.

A Space for Parties or Entertaining

You don’t have to have a huge pavilion, but having a sheltered, dedicated area for gatherings and parties gives residents an affordable and welcoming place to have a party. Whether it is a kid’s celebration, a family reunion, or just a fun get together, having a spot that can be used for a get?together will make your park more family friendly. Include a designated seating space with picnic area and access to restrooms for best results; locals will be able to use your space more effectively if you have these amenities available.

Emergency Equipment

Equipment like Automated External Defibrillators can save lives in an emergency. Adding an AED to your space could save an adult or child’s life. These portable, easy to use devices are popping up in public spaces everywhere, from Disney World to State and Federal controlled parks.

The elements you add to your park will depend on the people who use it most and the communities you most wish to serve. Careful consideration of the needs of your intended audience, and a review of what you want to accomplish with your park, can help you fine tune your choices and ensure you have the finished result you want. Contact us to learn how easy it is to outfit your park to serve your desired audience and get the results you want from your space.