Feature Article - November 2005
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Handy Solutions to Common Problems

By Stacy St. Clair, Jenny E. Beeh and Kelli Anderson

How To Keep Your Visitors Cool

When the weather gets hot, good recreation managers know how to keep it cool. They understand that both public health and positive customer relations mean providing sources of refreshment to overheated patrons.

Here are four ways to help park visitors chill out:


Drinking fountains have been around for nearly a century, serving as an indispensable site furnishing in public parks. When choosing this absolute necessity, consider the ease of installation, ease of cleaning, durability and safety to the user. In areas with heavy traffic, it's also a good idea to purchase a fountain made from vandalism-resistant materials. The stream should be at least four inches above the basin and provide both knee and toe clearance for people in wheelchairs in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In cold-weather states, consider purchasing a drinking fountain equipped with freeze protection. A freeze-protected fountain typically has a special box that houses the main plumbing components inside a heated room. In extremely cold areas, the fountain should be turned off during the winter months and purged of water that could freeze and expand.


Looking for a way to keep patrons in the park a little longer? Install a mister, which lightly refreshes patrons and entices them to stay and play for a while. Several professional ballparks and concert venues have enlisted misters as a public health tool to help keep the masses cool on scorching days. Purchasing a mister with a metered valve and a timer much like push-button sinks in public restrooms can help eliminate wasted water.


Humans aren't the only park patrons who need hydration. Our four-legged friends like to keep cool, too. Recreation managers can score big points with pet owners by providing a pet fountain in their facility. Many manufactures offer a pet fountain in combination with a normal drinking fountain. There are also models that serve as pet comfort stations, featuring both water bowls and metered showers with leash hooks.


Facilities looking to refresh their offerings, should consider splash play areas. Theses features provide a fun way to cool off as well as boost patronage. Splash play areas are also ideal for communities that cannot afford mega-budget waterparks but still want to offer residents wet-and-wild fun. You also may want to consider a themed splash play area—ocean, pirate, western and zoo motifs are among the most popular—to make it even more attractive to patrons. If you chose a splash play area, be open to new marketing opportunities. Many parks have found success renting the areas out for birthday parties, while others have made a profit from charging a nominal fee for entering the designated splash play facility.

  F O R   M O R E   I N F O R M A T I O N  

Most Dependable Fountains, Inc. 800-552-6331

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