How to Get a Playground in Your Neighborhood
Do you live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, but they don’t have any safe places to play? Neighborhood playgrounds can improve the happiness and well-being of the families and increase property value. So, if you live in a neighborhood without a playground, here are the steps that you can take to get a playground built for the kids of your neighborhood.
- Raise Interest
- Set a Budget
- Choose a Location
- Design the Playground
- Begin Fundraising
- And Get to Building
So, now that you know the basics of how to get a playground in your neighborhood, we will go into further detail on each step.
If you, and a few others of your neighbors, have come to the conclusion that building a recreational area, like a playground, is an update that the neighborhood needs, the first step has already begun. The more neighbors you have that agree with building a play area, the easier it will be to get the project started. If you do have enough support, then you will need to create a playground project team to help design the playground, raise money, choose the location, and handle building permits, insurance, and maintenance. Each of these is a very important aspect of building and maintaining a neighborhood playground.
However, if you do not yet have the support you need, you will need to go around your neighborhood and begin campaigning. This is also a great way to get to know your neighbors, and possibly even make a few new good friends.
Set a Playground Budget
Playgrounds can range from cheap to expensive, depending on the size and equipment you need. By getting the playground project team together, you can decide how large the playground needs to be, as well as what pieces of equipment and/or games you should include in the design. All of these factors will increase or decrease the playground budget. Without a playground budget, you cannot go forth with the next step in how to get a playground in your neighborhood, choosing the location.
Choosing a Location
Playgrounds built on city property are usually managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. If you want a playground built on public land, you will need to contact the mayor and/or the chief administrator to find out who oversees playgrounds. If you live in a community that has a homeowner’s association, its open spaces could be a good playground site. Make sure the location is dry and has good rain runoff. If the land that you wish to build on is on school property, with the community having use after hours, you will need to contact the school board. By talking with any of these associations, you will be able to narrow down what spaces can be used for your neighborhood playground.
However, if you are wanting to build your neighborhood playground on any private land, you will need to convince the landowner to sell to your group, or better yet, donate the property to the town, so the town takes over the responsibilities and liabilities of the playground. Some homeowners choose to partner with nonprofit or public-private partnerships, such as a downtown revitalization organization, that already has a space and a relationship with the governing authorities.
Another option is to include a new playground in a planned commercial space, such as an outdoor mall area. In this case, the developer would handle liability, maintenance and any permits required. So, you can see that there are many different locations that you can choose for your new neighborhood playground to be built.
Get together with the playground project team to decide what type of location is best for the neighborhood. Once the type of location has been narrowed down, you will then need to choose a specific site of which to design your playground.
When it comes to designing your neighborhood playground, you need to keep in mind the size of the area you have, the number of people that will be using the playground, what type of equipment you want, as well as what kind of games you want to be included. In most cases, playground manufacturers offered layout and design help, if this step is a little too difficult for your playground project team. They will also be able to answer any questions about what materials are best used.
The best playgrounds are built to be safe, spark imagination, but also make the children use their brains. All of this is possible through a well-designed playground. As an example of each, sand and rubber matting are used for safety, color, and shapes used for sparking imagination, and games like tic-tac-toe and checkers for intelligence. And everyone knows that exercise is an important part of a playground, so do not leave out enough space to run.
Now that you’ve gone through every step of raising interest, planning a budget, choosing a location and designing the space, it is now time to begin fundraising. The best possible way to raise money for small projects, like your neighborhood playground, is through private donations. Donations can come from within the neighborhood, or from those who know the families inside the neighborhood. However, there are other options your playground project team can take to raise the money.
Fundraisers such as baked good sales, car washes, yard work activities, and many others are a great way to raise the money to meet your budget. This is also a great step to get the whole family involved in, after all, it is for the kid’s enjoyment and the parents quiet time. Without the fundraising, your playground build will stay in the design phase, and the kids will stay running in the house.
Building the Playground
There are a few different options that you will have for when it comes to building the neighborhood playground. This could be a neighborhood project, were people who live inside the neighborhood come and help build the project, or you could hire the experts to come to build the playground, professionally.
Most manufacturers of playground equipment, also offer services for building the equipment, and in some cases, they are the only ones who can build the equipment. While getting the whole neighborhood together to build the playground is great in theory, having the professionals come put together the equipment is the safest method for protecting those who will be using the playground.
Important Playground Information
Before you dive right into the “How to Get a Playground in your Neighborhood” steps, consider the drawbacks. If you live in a community with a homeowner’s association, related expenses for insurance and maintenance could possibly increase in your association fees. In addition, neighborhood playgrounds can increase noise and traffic on nearby streets. If these are well worth the risk to you, then you can begin your “How to Get a Playground in Your Neighborhood” steps now.
When you begin the steps, remember that even a small project, like a playground, takes time. A single swing set can take a year of fundraising, research, and planning. The larger the playground, the more time will need to be completed.
Also, building a playground takes a lot of work, but can be very rewarding. Having a playground in your neighborhood would mean that you will not have to drive your kids elsewhere for them to play and get their energy out. However, you will be in charge of helping to maintain the playground and making sure the equipment is not mistreated.
But, do not let that make you think that a neighborhood playground is not worth your while. Working to bring a new recreational amenity to the neighborhood will increase the pleasure, value, and togetherness of your community, as well as bring you a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a demanding job, but seeing it completed, and the children playing on it, is reward enough.
Summing It Up
If there are a lot of children in your neighborhood, with no place to play, building a neighborhood playground is as simple as the following steps. First, you will need to gain interest in the neighborhood for building such a project. Once this interest has been raised, you will need to put together a playground project team. This team is designed to help raise money, choose the location, and handle building permits, insurance, and maintenance. Once this has been done, it will be time to set the playground budget. With the budget in mind, you will need to move on to choosing the location and designing the playground itself.
There are many different kinds of lot types that one can build a playground on. So, when a lot type, as well as the lot itself, has been picked out, the design process can begin. While designing, you will need to keep in mind the size of the lot, the population of those who will be attending, and the equipment and games included in the playground. From there, you can begin fundraising and finally building your new neighborhood playground.
Building any new neighborhood playground can be a difficult process. So, if you ever come across any questions, you can always contact a playground manufacturer for help in designing or even building the playground. The process can raise concerns, but the accomplishment and play of the children will make it worth your while.