How Do I Get a Playground in My Community?
Sometimes the most challenging part of knowing how to build a playground in your community is knowing where to start. If you are wondering how long it takes to build a playground or the various ways you can fundraise for your project, it may be good to look into the options available to you.
You can always start by creating a step-by-step process for you and your team members to follow. Gather information on different locations in your community and find the resources available to you. With knowledge on your side, you can build a fun playground for the kids in your community to enjoy.
Step 1: Raise Interest and Get Support
The first step in getting a playground in your community is to gather support from your friends and neighbors. Hold a meeting to find out what your neighbors think about the possibility of a new playground. Outline your reasons for wanting to start this project and its benefits to your community. Write down everyone’s general thoughts and ideas and start a brainstorming session with your group to make the project a collaborative effort.
Once you’ve gathered a support group, create a playground project team and start campaigning. Split the duties between team members to optimize your time and work together efficiently. Some members can work on raising money and planning fundraising efforts, while others can search for locations, create budgets or handle necessary paperwork like permits and licenses.
Step 2: Set a Budget
Once you’ve gathered a team, focus on the kind of playground equipment you want. You can determine how much money you’ll need to raise and prepare yourself to stick to that budget. Consider how many kids you need to accommodate and choose your budget based on that information. For example, if you are planning to accommodate 30 kids, a smaller budget may be applicable. The more kids who may use the playground, the higher your budget might be.
There are a few more aspects to consider when factoring things into your budget. These include:
- Installation of surfacing features and designs for optimal usage.
- Costs for shipping and handling.
- Payments to a playground supplier for building and installation.
- Drainage to reduce flooding.
- Bathrooms, moving equipment or parking spaces.
- Payments to a playground designer for questions and design plans.
You can always add features later as you raise more money during fundraising. It may be wiser to start with a smaller playground design that fits within your budget at the beginning.
Step 3: Choose a Location
The Parks and Recreation Department usually handles playgrounds built on city property. If you are wondering how to build a playground on public property, contact your town’s mayor or chief administrator to find out who owns the property. Talk with the homeowners association if they are present in your neighborhood.
Some designers want to build a community playground on school property and may have to go through the school board to get this approved. Talk to landowners of private properties that you might convince to donate property to the town or petition a local developer to try and include a new playground in a commercial space like a mall or park.
Choose a dry location that isn’t prone to flooding and assess the wind and traffic patterns of different areas when looking for an excellent place to build your playground. Try not to build on dense soil, like clay, as this can damage the playground equipment over time.
Step 4: Design the Playground
Playground manufacturers can also help with this process and offer design suggestions and assistance with drawing plans. When starting your design journey, try to sketch out a rough design during the initial planning. Show this to the designers and engineers who can tweak it to your desired preferences.
Keep in mind these specific aspects when designing a playground:
- The size of the area and any space limitations
- The number of kids who might use the playground
- The types of equipment you can offer kids, such as swing sets or climbers
- The games and activities kids will enjoy
A playground design Should consider the age, demographics and needs of the kids using the playground. Provide a variety of play options and ensure that your playground design complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so that kids with wheelchairs and other mobility devices can also enjoy it.
Step 5: Create a Timeline
Building a playground may take anywhere from six to nine months or longer, depending on how much you want to build or how long your group may take to fundraise. Try to make long-term decisions on equipment and design. For example, choose equipment and materials that are less likely to rust or degrade over time and pick timeless designs.
When creating a timeline, list the aspects of the project and make a plan for your team on when they will be required to complete specific tasks. Share this timeline with others to ensure that the timetable is collaborative and team members can stay accountable. Communicate with your team at all times if the timeline ever changes.
Gather information about building playgrounds, study the location for your project and choose the right equipment for your community. Follow these steps and prioritize one at a time to manage your time well.
Step 6: Begin Fundraising
Private donations are a great way to raise money for community playgrounds. These donations may come from within the neighborhood or from friends and family who know individuals within the community. Fundraisers are also successful ways to raise money. Some ideas for fundraising events or campaigns may include:
- Bake sales: Offer homemade confections, desserts and other sweet treats.
- Car washes: Wash cars for other community members and donate the proceeds.
- Yard sales: Sell personal items you’ve been meaning to get rid of.
- Activity fairs: Create a community-wide event with fun activities and good food.
- Sporting events: Raise money through a sports game in the neighborhood.
- Auctions: Auction off special prizes and donate the proceeds to the playground fund.
Try to get the community involved in the process or partner with local businesses and local park services. Some non-profits may assist in your events or you can apply for grants. Some online fundraising options also exist that might prove helpful to your project. Sites like GoFundMe or Kickstarter are excellent online fundraising services that allow a larger audience to get involved in your campaign.
Step 7: Build the Playground
One building option is to make the playground a community project with a professional supervising the installation. Involve your friends, family and neighbors and gather people to help build the equipment.
Another option is to hire experts and professionals to install the playground structures. Playground manufacturers might also offer installation services, design assistance and product offerings. Having a trained team of professionals install your playground will ensure it’s built correctly.
Have the community help in other areas of your playground construction project. Enlist some members to start a marketing campaign, design posters or assist in advertising. Some community members may also provide specific expertise — you may have a neighbor who is a construction worker or a family member who is an engineer. Brainstorm ideas with these individuals and gather their input.
Request a Quote for Your Project
Plan your community playground with Miracle® Recreation. We dedicate our time to encouraging children’s learning and development as they grow. Miracle offers various playground equipment that allows kids to step out of their comfort zones and practice imaginative play.
We believe that thrilling play and self-exploration begin on the playground. Miracle Recreation builds playgrounds with innovation and inclusivity in mind. Contact us today to request a quote or talk to one of our customer representatives.