When having a playground built in your community, there are certain steps and protocols you’ll have to follow. These rules and guidelines ensure that playgrounds across America are built in accordance with the latest safety standards, keeping children safe. You’ll also have to decide on a location and determine the funding. Who will be paying for the playground? How much can you afford?
Once you get these obstacles out of the way, the process moves much smoother. That’s why we always recommend addressing these issues first so that you can spend the rest of your time enjoying the building phase. Below are some of the main hurdles you must overcome before breaking ground
There are two main ways to get money for your playground. The first is through fundraising and the second is through grants. The most popular option is grants because this will give you the most money to build your playground. Fundraising can also be lucrative, but it does depend on community support.
So where can you find grants to fund your playground? There are national, regional and local government agencies, large corporations like Walmart and Costco and nonprofit organizations. A quick Google search will turn up organizations in your area that you can request funding from. It takes time to fill out the paperwork and have the funding approved, so start early.
If you do plan on fundraising, you’ll certainly need the community’s support. And that’s where community buy-in becomes important. It’s difficult to build a vibrant, active playground in a community that doesn’t want it. To make your project a success, you’ll need community support. The bigger your support system, the greater impact you can make.
There are many ways to gather community support:
- Volunteer in the community to get your name out there
- Ask residents what they would like to see in their new playground and/or fitness space
- Share your story and why you’re doing what you’re doing - you can do this on a blog, social media or through word-of-mouth
- Follow through with what you say and be patient
Another issue is finding the perfect location for your playground or outdoor recreation space. Ideally, it should be easily accessible to the community, with space for parking, bike racks and restrooms. You’ll also need to consider shade, seasonal weather conditions and where the sun hits the playground at different hours of the day.
A good location will make people want to come to your playground, so this aspect deserves a lot of attention. You’ll also want to think about drainage, nearby trees and shrubs, existing rocks and boulders, nearby paths and trails and so forth. You can leverage these amenities to make your playground even more unique and engaging.
Play 4 All Campaign: Align Resources for Your Play or Fitness Space
Cunningham Recreation knows the importance of building safe, accessible, inclusive play and fitness spaces. To make this easier for our customers, we have a Play 4 All Campaign that helps align resources for our clients’ projects. This service comes at no cost and offers the following advantages:
- Assess and position a campaign to build your playground or fitness space
- Find and access local, regional and national grants
- Build awareness about your project
- Create a fund development plan
- Design a sponsorship program
- Prospect potential funders/partners
- Coach your team on milestone events
To learn more about how Play 4 All can benefit your community playground project, contact Cunningham Recreation today.