Problem Solver - August 2011
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Update Your Site's Look

Beautiful parks and sites take more thought and care than many people realize. Paying attention to the details can make all the difference between a "whatever" experience and a "wow" experience for visitors. And, the good news is that you don't have to go back to the drawing board to make these kinds of improvements.

Q: We want to improve the look of our site, but don't have the time or budget to go through a complex planning process or hire a design team. What can we do?

A: Beautifying your site can be as simple as swapping out tired old furnishings for a new, coordinated look. With a minimal amount of planning, you can match the context of your site with coordinated benches, trash receptacles and more to provide a cohesive look that packs a real punch.

It's important to consider your site when selecting furnishings. If you're furnishing a downtown square, you might want to go with classic or modern cast-iron or steel pieces in basic colors. A shaded park site might look great with wood or recycled plastic furnishings. And a play area would look fantastic with brightly colored furnishings that coordinate with the play equipment.

If you have a slightly larger budget, you can also find manufacturers of site furnishings who can work with you to customize your park's look. From benches that curve around planted areas to customized railings and much more, you can make your park stand out from the pack with this approach.

Q: We'd like to install new site furnishings, but budgets are tight. Is there a way we can get a new look for a lower cost?

A: Many organizations are in this situation, but luckily there are options. For example, you might consider asking community members to help by sponsoring furnishings. A memorial bench is a great financial solution for your community, and can provide a lasting and meaningful tribute to people and organizations community members want to recognize.

When community members choose to sponsor a bench or other site furnishing, they donate the cost of the furnishing, and each piece can include a plaque denoting the dedication.


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