Supplement Feature - April 2011
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Mix and Match

When Outfitting Your Park, Context Matters

By Emily Tipping

Maintenance Matters

One critical thing to keep in mind is that you can't just install your park furnishings and then forget about them. Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your park up to snuff. Lax approaches to maintenance result in litter-laden, graffiti-ridden parks.

Establish a regular maintenance schedule, and be sure your staff keeps regular records, especially noting any problems, such as broken toilets, vandalized playgrounds or overflowing garbage cans.

Then use those reports to keep things running smoothly. If, for example, you note that the garbage cans regularly spill over on weekend days, schedule an extra garbage pickup. And if graffiti is a regular problem at your picnic shelter, there are measures you can take to forestall it. (See Sidebar on page 31.)


Garbage cans and recycling bins are a necessity in any location where people gather. So how do you know how many you need? And what factors should you consider when choosing a design?

  • How many people visit the park?
  • How much garbage gets thrown away?
  • How often can we empty the receptacles?
  • Is vandalism a problem?
  • Is wildlife an issue?