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Jordan Wilkinson
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Top Five Community Benefits From a Well-Designed Park

Spring is in the air, temperatures are rising and we are all increasingly eager to get outside and out of the house. Parks are an obvious place to spend free-time and offer a safe opportunity for outdoor socialization, but also offer many other benefits to our communities. Here’s a quick look at how a well-designed park can be a huge asset.

1. The ability to interact with nature

To many of us living in a metropolitan region, parks offer an opportunity to connect to nature. Although National and State parks bring us great examples of preserved natural wilderness and ecosystems, a local community park can go a long way at promoting interaction with nature on a very basic level. Sitting on a bench beneath a blooming Cherry tree, watching squirrels, or even just sitting in a lush lawn all bring us out of the built environment and into nature for a few minutes.

2. A chance to connect to your community

A well-designed park can also serve as the backbone of a community’s connective fabric. Parks offer a place for meeting, recreation, celebration, and socialization. Community parks are a vital springboard to many local clubs and organizations that otherwise would not have a place to meet. Pavilions, fields, and playgrounds are all amenities that promote connection to our communities.

3. Mental breaks

If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes we need a mental break. Lunch in the park or a quick 10-minute walk on a trail can sometimes be enough to clear your mind and allow for a mental reset.

4. Physical activity – in any form

This one may be obvious, but one of the biggest benefits of a well-designed park is the ability to get some physical activity. From soccer to walking, parks provide a place for our bodies to move around and get our hearts pumping.

5. A sense of ownership and pride

Perhaps most importantly, a well-designed park can harbor the power to create a sense of ownership and community pride. Having a local park to call “your own” is a great feeling. Park users who visit their parks regularly do often develop a feeling of ownership and that leads to great things – like cleaner and safer parks. Park users, or stakeholders, who become invested in a park take care of it and become a crucial part of any municipal park master plans or designs.

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