How to Attract More People to Your Park
Community parks are appealing places for people to gather, socialize, play and enjoy the outdoors. Feeling the warm sunshine, listening to birdsong and enjoying children’s laughter from the playground bring delight to a park’s environment. Playing outdoors, such as on the playground, also provides kids with several benefits for their physical, social and emotional health, benefiting even the youngest in your community.
If you want to encourage community members to visit and enjoy your park, a few strategies can help. Here are four tips for how to improve parks and attract more people.
1. Focus on Inclusivity and Accessibility
Your community is diverse, with people of all ages and abilities. If your park isn’t accessible for people with wheelchairs, or who are blind or deaf, providing equal access is a great way to make the space more inviting to visitors. Making your park more inclusive and accessible might involve adding specific elements designed for different groups. Some examples include wheelchair-accessible paths or textured sidewalks at crossings.
If your park has a playground, making it accessible is another excellent way to attract more kids and their families. Playgrounds are part of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prevents discrimination against people with mental and physical disabilities. New playground constructions and alterations must comply with ADA accessibility standards regarding access points, playground surfacing and more to ensure people with disabilities can enjoy the park equally.
An accessible playground complies with ADA standards, while an inclusive playground goes beyond the ADA to create a space that allows kids with different abilities to play together. Consider adding inclusive playground equipment like sensory features, an adaptive swing seat or a wheelchair-accessible glider.
2. Use Your Space
If you have enough room in your park to include additional facilities and amenities, investing in them could be an excellent way to attract more people. Conduct surveys to find out what amenities the people in your community would like and build what’s missing. Here are a few ideas to get started.
Add a Walking Loop
Walking loops provide people with a designated space for movement around the park and often promote higher physical activity levels. From moms with strollers to seniors using a walker, walking loops let people enjoy exercising in the fresh air.
Add a walking loop to encourage people to walk, jog or rollerblade around your park. Link walking loops back to the park’s central hub to improve navigation. Even in a smaller park, walking loops can make the area feel more spacious and create a sense of adventure and discovery.
Include More Facilities and Amenities
One of the best park improvement ideas is adding more facilities and amenities. Having plenty of conveniences gives visitors access to various activities that may encourage them to stay longer. If a park only has a playground with nothing for adults to do, your visitors will tend to skew younger and you’ll miss out on connecting with older people. Think about your community’s needs and what facilities might fulfill them.
Here are a few additional facilities and site amenities to consider adding to your park:
- Tennis courts
- Covered picnic tables
- Bike racks
- Baseball fields
- Opportunities for exercise, such as outdoor fitness equipment
- Water fountains
- Plentiful playground shade
3. Improve Your Marketing
Perhaps people don’t visit your park because they don’t know about it or the activities it offers. Getting the word out about your park can be a great way to attract more people. With time and creativity, various marketing efforts can yield tremendous results.
Social media is a significant opportunity to share information about your park with your community and generate interest. The Pew Research Center found that a whopping 84% of 18-to-29-year-olds and 81% of those 30 to 49 use social media. Posting on social media allows you to promote your park to people of all ages.
Create a profile for your park and share photos, updates about the grounds and information about upcoming events. You can also share statistics on the benefits of parks and use hashtags to get people interested.
Marketing your park with on-site advertising ensures you reach the people most likely to engage with your park. Use banners, posters and signs to advertise park cleanups, upcoming athletic events and other activities.
Place on-site marketing in common areas or spaces where visitors spend a lot of time, such as in restrooms or on a bulletin board near picnic tables. If you’re hosting a tennis tournament, put marketing materials in the locker room or on the courts where tennis enthusiasts will see them. The more foot traffic an area has, the better you can spread the word about the exciting events happening at your park.
Create a Website
A website dedicated to your park can be another way to get news to your community and provide more information about the park. People looking for local events to attend or who want to host an event at your park can look to the website for more details.
Many families turn to the internet to learn about inclusive spaces and resources. Include information on your website that parents and people with disabilities can use to plan their day at the park. For example, you might mention your inclusive equipment, mobility device-friendly surfacing, accessible parking spots and other information that might inform someone’s choice or put them at ease.
Your website can include a calendar of upcoming events, a photo gallery advertising your facilities and a list of park rules. You can also set up your website to feature social media posts taken at your park or posted with the park’s hashtag.
Improving your relationships with people in your community can also boost your marketing efforts. The more your park management team gets involved with local businesses and community organizations, the easier it is to share information about new efforts at the park.
Develop a closer relationship with local small businesses, senior centers, libraries and hospitals. Encourage these organizations to host events at your park to help more people understand the importance of a community park and the benefits of outdoor exercise, then help them market the activity.
4. Host Events
Parks provide a safe, enjoyable space for events of all kinds, from family reunions to citywide festivals. Making your park an entertaining destination is a strategic way to bring in more people and display your amenities.
Consider these ideas for supervised community events to host at your park.
- Classes: Contact local artists or fitness instructors interested in teaching outdoor painting or yoga classes. Depending on your facilities, you could also host sports or gardening classes.
- Shows: Community parks are excellent venues for concerts, comedy shows and other performances. Animal shows from a local wildlife center or puppet shows from a nearby school can also be fun.
- Activities: Your park can rotate activities of the week, like story hour, trivia night or community kickball.
- Outsider events: You can also allow others to host events or reserve space at your park. Post your contact information in an accessible spot and consider factors like reservation deadlines, fees and other rules.
Upgrade Your Park With Help From Miracle® Recreation
Everyone deserves to enjoy nature, community and play at the park. By engaging your community through marketing, improving your park’s accessibility and using your space for additional facilities and activities, you can increase interest and attract more people from the community. Once you have a plan for getting more people to use your park, upgrade your facilities with products from Miracle Recreation.
At Miracle Recreation, we put the thrill back into play with a wide range of innovative playground structures and components. We also provide outdoor fitness equipment for kids and adults, inclusive playground equipment for people of all ability levels and plenty of site amenities to make your park inviting.
Find the playground equipment that suits your park’s needs by browsing our selection. To learn more about the playground equipment options we offer at Miracle Recreation, contact your local sales representative today.