Before you embark on building a neighborhood or community park, it’s essential to know the difference between the two and the amenities each requires. Spoiler alert: The parks are very similar, but there are different amenity expectations at each.

Let’s dive in to learn more.

Neighborhood Park vs. Community Park


Neighborhood Park 

A neighborhood park (sometimes known as a residential park) is built near or in the middle of neighborhoods. It serves as the recreational and social hub of that neighborhood. Residents can enjoy space for recreational activities like field games, court games, picnics and playground time. 

Some neighborhood parks even contain athletic fields that can be used by community athletic organizations. The service area of these parks is usually limited to the neighborhood and those just outside of it.

Community Park 

Community parks serve a bigger purpose than neighborhood parks. Rather than serving just the people of one neighborhood, a community park serves the whole community, filling community-based recreation, athletic and open-space needs. 

These parks obviously have the capability of being much larger and include more amenities, including walking paths, aquatic amenities, picnic areas, fields, courts, athletic complexes and more.

Sport Court is designated surfacing for sport play, whether you’re looking to install a basketball, volleyball, or tennis court. It is designed to help absorb the shock of falls, jumps, and strain on joints. Sport Court also provides the perfect amount of grip. Too little grip can cause players to slip and fall, while too much grip hinders movement and impacts performance.

Aspects to Include in Your Neighborhood and Community Parks

Depending on the type of park, your guests will expect different amenities and experience different activities. No matter the type of park, here are three basic amenities you need to include in both types of parks.

Benches, Tables and Other Seating Options


People need somewhere to sit, whether it’s to rest, relax or converse with friends. As you design other aspects of your park, benches may accidentally take a back seat, but they should be an integral part of your design.  

When you think of the parks you grew up with, the benches may have been plain wood. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with wood benches, but there are lots of ways to dress them up.  Here are a few options:

  • Benches that curve along a walkway
  • Metal benches
  • Environmentally friendly benches made from recycled materials
  • Classic garden benches
  • Architectural elements
  • Lots of pattern and color options
  • Matching tables for most chair/bench options

Shade Structures


When the days get hot, people need a place to escape the beating sun. While trees provide amazing natural shade, they won’t protect you from rain or snow in the winter. Here are some other options to consider:

Shelters: Commercial shelters, such as pergolas, gazebos, and pavilions, provide shade as well as a place to rest, eat or relax. These all-weather structures can be used in any season and will protect visitors from all of the elements. MRC’s prefabricated buildings are made with superior-quality wood and steel. They are strong, durable, low-maintenance and match any aesthetic. 

Sun Shades: Sun shades block up to 98% of harmful UV rays and reduce temperatures by up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. They are low-maintenance and come with up to 20-year warranties. Sun shades come in different sizes, colors and configurations, depending on your need.

Signs or Archways


Sport Court specializes in home volleyball courts, courts for schools, parks, and volleyball courts for community centers. We will work with you to design a court that meets you and your athletes’ specific needs.

Signs and archway entry gates are the best way to announce who you are. Make them memorable, and you’ll have visitors for life. For a neighborhood park, this may mean just one sign or archway at the entrance. In bigger community parks, you can use signs or archways to differentiate areas of the park such as gardens, playgrounds, trails or waterparks. 

Side note: Don’t forget to include trash cans, recycle bins and bike racks too!

Park Activities

There is no end to the number of activities you can do in neighborhood or community parks. Here are a few to consider making space for as you design your park.

Activity (1)


Building a Neighborhood or Community Park

Knowing how much space you have to work with will allow you to choose the right amenities for your park. As long as it has a place for people to rest, relax and play, you’re sure to keep visitors happy. Need help planning your park? The experts at MRC have 40+ years of experience and are here to help.