Supplement Feature - April 2011
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Mix and Match

When Outfitting Your Park, Context Matters

By Emily Tipping

Dog-Gone It

Speaking of canines, dog parks are booming across the nation. While many include the most basic of amenities—a garbage can to throw dog waste away, a bench and a fence—there are many additions that can be made to make your dog park the leader of the pack.

Here again, a kiosk where rules can be posted will ensure visitors—and their pals—behave properly. And, while most patrons will bring their own, just in case, it can be helpful to provide a doggy-bag dispenser here as well.

Going beyond these basics, you can also find manufacturers who are creating unique agility training amenities and other site furnishings specifically designed for man's best friend. When you make such amenities part of your dog park, you encourage greater use and might even be able to expand into programming such as basic training for pooches.

Play Ball

Many parks include sports fields, whether formally laid out and planned or simple fields with goals installed at either end to allow for informal play.

These areas require special considerations of their own. If local Little Leagues and other organized teams are playing on the field, consider placing a concession stand and restroom building nearby. You also might want to consider installing lights for nighttime play, especially if field time is hard to find in your community.

Sports fields also require special considerations for seating. Baseball fields might be gussied up with a dugout or, at the very least, benches where the teams can wait for their turn at bat. Bleachers may also be a welcome addition, especially if the games draw a large number of spectators.