Furnish Your Site Effectively
A beautiful park is the perfect spot for community members to gather or visit alone, enjoying beautiful views and the relaxing experience of communing with nature. When you select site furnishings that complement your site, and place them wisely, you create a comfortable, pleasing environment that people will visit again and again.
Q: We're looking to select furnishings for our site, but aren't sure where to start. What should we look for?
A: Before you get started, think about the site you're going to furnish. Is it a natural setting? A downtown square? A sports park? The context of your site should help determine the style of furnishings you choose. For a natural area, consider wood or recycled plastic that will blend in to the surroundings. For a square or historic area, look for steel designs with clean or classic lines. Decorative elements can lend elegance to your site's appearance.
Also think about color. Steel furnishings can be powder-coated in a wide variety of colors to match the other features of your site. For example, you could install benches and waste receptacles near a playground in a color that matches your slides and swings. Recycled plastic is also available in a range of colors. Look to natural colors to suit a wooded site, or bright colors for a sports park.
Q: What types of furnishings should we choose, and where should we place them?
A: Start by thinking about how people will be using your site. Place benches along trails, near playgrounds and close to sports fields. If you expect your park to attract a lot of spectators for sporting events, consider installing bleachers near the sports fields, so everyone can get a good view.
Consider creating a wooded picnic area, or install picnic tables beneath a park shelter. Planters can be placed at entrances and near shelters to provide another pop of color.
Waste and recycling receptacles should be sited near places where people make garbage. Don't put the receptacles too close to picnic tables, but place them close enough that they're visible and easy to access. Be sure receptacles are labeled so visitors know where to put trash vs. recyclables like bottles and cans.
Charcoal grills and fire rings are another great amenity to include in picnic areas and near shelters where people gather. And don't forget important features like bike racks, water fountains and signs to let people know where they're going.
Q: What else should we consider?
A: Comfort is crucial if you want park visitors to come and stay a while. If your site has plenty of trees, you've got built-in shade, but many visitors will still appreciate a little protection from the weather. Shades and shelters are perfect for creating a focal point for your park. You can even consider installing several smaller shade structures and renting them out during popular times, such as Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day.
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