Editor's Desk - April 2010
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Site Smarts


I
went for a walk in the park the other day, and decided to take a moment, have a seat and enjoy the view. But when I sat down, I couldn't help feeling like someone might be sneaking up on me. You know that feeling? I kept turning around, and there was no one there. It took a minute to figure out what the problem was.

I was sitting on a bench facing one way, and all of the other people in the park were behind me. Behind me there was a playground, a basketball court and a picnic shelter. In front of me was the trail and some trees. Had the bench been placed on the opposite side of the trail, with its back to the trees and its front facing the park, I doubt I would have felt so discomfited. Around here, the worst thing that might emerge from the trees in the middle of the day would be a squirrel. Or maybe a red-winged blackbird dive-bombing my head in an attempt to protect its territory.

At any rate, it served as one of those, "Oh, now I get it" moments. Suddenly, I understood the justification for more careful consideration of site design and the placement of site furnishings. Here was a real-world example of what we talk about in every issue.

When you're planning your own parks and site elements, we hope you'll turn to these pages to help you get it right. Whether it's the grouping of amenities like playgrounds and seating or sports fields and—what else?—more sports fields, or ensuring your playgrounds and park furnishings will get people into your park and enjoying themselves, you know that a well-designed park or site takes careful planning.

In this, our Guide to Playgrounds & Park Furnishings, we've covered all of this ground and more, all in an effort to help you provide a place where people feel welcome to play and recreate. We hope you'll keep this as a handy reference guide as you work on sprucing up your own sites.

Cheers!

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director
emily@recmanagement.com



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