Create a Standout Gathering Area
Community parks are the perfect gathering spot. Whether it's a full-blown family reunion or a spur-of-the-moment picnic, when you're going to get together and dine al fresco, the park is the place to do it. Well-designed picnic areas aim to provide comfort and fun for visitors who are celebrating, dining and enjoying their time together.
Q: We'd like to ensure our park is comfortable and attractive for picnickers of all types. What should we consider?
A: Start by finding the right mix of site furnishings and other elements, such as shade, to provide the perfect place for picnickers to gather. First, think about how you expect people to use the space. You'll want to include picnic tables, and garbage and recycling receptacles at the least. You can take things a step further by incorporating shade elements, as well as providing grills and recycling stations. Many patrons will enjoy the ability to cook up some hot dogs and burgers in the great outdoors.
Be sure to clearly mark receptacles so visitors will know where to put their trash. This is a perfect opportunity to encourage recycling. You can find a variety of recycling stations with clear marking and color-coded openings to inform users where to place their glass or plastic bottles, their paper and their trash.
Place waste receptacles close enough to the picnic area to encourage people to clean up after themselves, but not so close to picnic tables that flies and other pests will become a nuisance.
Q: What else should we know?
A: Don't neglect the comfort of your visitors. You can choose and place the perfect site furnishings, but if there's not a bit of shade, patrons will avoid your picnic area in the hot summer months.
If your park is filled with shady trees, you've got a ready-made spot. Otherwise, group your picnic furnishings around shelters. You might even want to provide some rental spots during peak times like the 4th of July and Labor Day weekend.
Be sure to provide a variety of arrangements. Include smaller groupings of picnic tables as well as larger groups so large gatherings and small families alike can enjoy your park.
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