Sustainable site amenities are finding their way into an increasing number of parks and playgrounds. These site amenities help reduce carbon emissions and pollutants and are constructed from recycled materials or have sustainable sources. By incorporating eco-friendly site amenities into their recreation spaces, cities can create parks and playgrounds that directly improve the environment.
Park benches, trash receptacles and picnic tables are perhaps some of the most common site amenities inside a recreation space. Landscape architects and park designers are wise to include site amenities because they are convenient and keep guests comfortable. When selecting these amenities, designers can choose from many product lines that are constructed from recycled materials. Not only do these eco-friendly amenities offer the same value and benefits to park visitors as their non-recycled counterparts, they are notably a responsible environmental decision. Recycled plastic or recycled powder coated steel are used to build outdoor benches, picnic tables and trash cans. These materials are also available in a variety of styles and colors, making them a versatile option for designers. Recycled plastic can be constructed to look like a wood bench, and powder-coated steel can be painted almost any color. And, if you think that choosing products that are made from recycled materials means you have to sacrifice durability, think again! Sustainable site amenities are available in UV, weather and moisture-resistant materials, and many manufacturers offer competitive warranties that back up their products.
Step onto any playground or outdoor fitness area and chances are high that you’ll be stepping onto a safety surfacing material. Because this safety surfacing usually covers the entire area, it’s purchased — and manufactured — in large quantities. As such, many designers and landscape architects are opting to use surfacing constructed from recycled materials. Best of all, there are many choices when it comes to eco-friendly safety surfacing, so people can choose the options that make sense for their style and budget. Recycled bonded rubber utilizes clean recycled shredded rubber tires and is a cost-effective alternative to other unitary surfaces. Recycled rubber tiles are another option that can be used indoors or outside. They come in customizable tile colors and designs. Recycled loose fill rubber is another popular choice. Constructed of 100% cleaned recycled tires, recycled loose fill rubber is available in different colors, a feature that is uncommon with other loose fill surfaces. Overall, the accessible and durable features of recycled rubber surfacing, coupled with it’s natural shock absorbing properties and low-maintenance upkeep, make it the preferred choice for designers who want effective products that are also environmentally friendly.
Sustainable site amenities are not only defined by the material from which they are constructed. They can also promote behaviors that minimize air pollutants. As landscape architects and designers aim to create eco-friendly spaces, many are identifying ways to encourage people to forego their cars and consider alternative forms of transportation. Adding bike racks to city parks or playgrounds is one way that recreation professionals are encouraging people to choose eco-friendly transportation. The presence of bike racks gives people an incentive to use their bikes when traveling to work or when getting around on the weekends. It’s a convenient amenity that also provides a sense of security, since people can lock-up their bikes whenever they need to leave them unattended. Designing greenways or incorporating trails in public spaces is yet another way that park planners can encourage people to skip their vehicles. These pathways can connect neighboring communities to shops or provide a quick access point to go from one business to the next. Ultimately, they offer an environmentally friendly way to get to work or navigate a city.
As sustainability continues to be an important focus across all industries, park and recreation professionals will undoubtedly maintain their commitment to using eco-friendly site amenities wherever possible. Through their responsible designs, they not only protect the Earth, but they create a healthier environment for future generations.
CR Studio Design offers a wide selection of eco-friendly product lines that accommodate different styles and budgets. Please contact us to learn more about our sustainable site amenities and how you can use them in your next project.