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Dog parks are one of the most popular amenities in any city across the country, and it only takes a brief stop at one of these fenced-in play areas to see why. Not only does a well designed dog park give pups a safe place to burn off their energy, but it also gives their owners a chance to bond with other dog-lovers as well as their pets. When you want to make sure that your new outdoor feature is the best, be sure to add these types of dog park equipment that provide a well-rounded space for humans and their dogs to play.

Keep Things Clean With Pet Waste Station

One of the most basic tenants of dog park etiquette is that every pet owner should clean up after their pup. While most visitors know to carry their own bags and poop scoopers, it always helps to include a bag dispenser for those who forget or run out. These should be placed right next to the waste bins so that visitors to the park can properly dispose of waste and do their part to keep the play area sanitary.

Get Them to Jump Through Hoops

Jumping rings provide an interesting element that stands out from the other more linear features. When adding hoops to the play space, make sure to take into consideration the different sizes of dogs that may visit the park. If you have separate areas for small and large dogs, then choose matching sized hoops to fit the space. For blended parks, try using staggered hoop park equipment that also give dogs the opportunity to increase the challenge as they grow or gain strength.

Develop Balance With Dog Walks and Hills

Dog walks should always be made from slip-resistant materials that are also durable enough to stand up to the weather elements. The best dog park equipment should also include increasing challenges for pups. For instance, a simple hill allows dogs to get used to walking up and down an incline. For the expert dogs that visit your park, try adding a doggie teeter totter that puts the control over the movement in their paws. While it may take a few attempts, learning how to manage a dog hill or teeter totter instills a sense of confidence that gets dogs noticed.

Encourage Socializing With Human Seating Areas

No dog park is complete without a place for humans and their dogs to take a “paws”. In addition to a grooming table on the main play area, consider adding a bench that encourages humans to sit and stay for a while. Visitors to the park will love having a place to socialize with other dog owners, and you can also add these near refreshment posts such as the water fountains to make sure everyone stays comfortable.

The popularity of dog parks has led to the development of exciting play equipment that helps build up strength, agility, and confidence in our favorite canine companions. Be sure to include a variety of different elements in the play space that gives both big and small pups a chance to roam off leash and explore their new territory. You can bet that your newly designed dog park becomes one of the most frequently visited places in your city!

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Posted by Matt Miller

Gazebos have been used for centuries as a shelter for people to enjoy as they go about their outdoor activities. In fact, the earliest use of gazebos can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians who used them as a gardening space. People throughout the world now use them for business meetings, tea rituals, and special events such as children’s birthday parties or weddings. Not only does adding a gazebo to your outdoor space continue the tradition of enjoying the beauty of nature in a cozy shelter, but it also provides these benefits that make it the perfect piece to include in any outside design. 

Increase the Safety of Playgrounds 

Shelters are one of the most important pieces of park equipment that you can include in any outdoor space. Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that parks and recreation planners include shelters in their designs for high use areas to help prevent the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure. In addition to enjoying the shade, gazebos give families a place to sit down and rest or get out of inclement weather. 

Create an Additional Source of Revenue 

Commercial gazebos are a desirable place for people to host special gatherings. Weddings, anniversaries, and birthday parties are just a few potential occasions for which people may prefer to rent a gazebo. Depending upon the type of facility that you operate, you may want to charge a small fee to offset the cost of maintaining the gazebo which also contributes to the overall aesthetics of the park or venue. The people in your community will love having a low cost place to host their events while any rental fees that are collected can go right back to the funds to continue to keep up the park features. 

Add an Attractive and Low-Maintenance Focal Point 

Once they are installed, gazebos are low maintenance, yet they create an attractive focal point that draws people to your outdoor venue. With modern designs, you can choose from materials such as wood and metal to create one that blends into the rest of the park equipment. You can also add features such as benches, flowers, and holiday decorations to provide that extra something that makes the gazebo stand out. 

Provide a Public Gathering Place 

Both public cities and private businesses benefit from having an outdoor shelter that encourages social interaction. Whether you want to provide a place for the residents of your city to dance to the music from a local band or want to host a meet-and-greet at your corporation, a gazebo is the ideal place to invite everyone to gather outdoors. You can also leave the walls open to provide a sense of space to a large crowd, or you can add drapes to establish a more intimate feel for a smaller group of people. 

Sum it Up

When you want a versatile piece of equipment that provides shelter and safety to the people that visit your venue, you can’t go wrong with a gazebo. Now, the only thing that you need to do is get started picking out the design and materials that bring out the best qualities of your outdoor location.

Posted by Matt Miller

4 Ways Playgrounds Benefit Children

Albert Einstein said, “Play is the highest form of research.” Even back then, scholars were aware of the many benefits that playing has on youngsters. Remember all the good times you had as a child climbing across monkey bars, going down the slide, and having a blast with your friends outside. The playground definitely benefits all, but developing children the most. 

Promotes Physical Exercise 

Running, jumping, and climbing are just a few gross motor skills that playgrounds allow for. We know how important it is for children and adults alike to get their hearts pumping and limbs moving.  In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents with obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s.  Getting some daily exercise on the playground can combat this trend.

  • It is recommended for children and adolescents to get 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents put limits on screen time ( e.g. TV, social media, and video games).

Fosters Social-Emotional Development

On the playground, children learn vital interpersonal skills such as sharing and turn-taking, communication, conflict resolution, and recognizing emotions within and in others. Play brings youngsters together to use their imagination and be free to have fun. Wasn’t recess your favorite subject in school too? 

  • Free play can help children learn to communicate with others and practice conversation while building vocabulary. 
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 20 minutes of recess per day.

Encourages Inclusivity 

Playgrounds should be accessible and safe for children of all skill level, and the equipment should reflect this.  Appropriate inclusive structures address the needs of the whole child, regardless of any disabilities. Let’s face it- the joy of playing does not discriminate!

  • Inclusive design enables grandparents and older adults to participate more comfortably in having fun and supervising as well. 
  • Research shows that disability awareness intervention have significant positive effects on children’s understanding and attitude toward people with disabilities. 

Cultivates Appreciation for Nature and Exploration 

Nature play is a hot commodity these days with parents and educators encouraging children to interact with a playground that mimics nature. Being outside in the fresh air, perhaps surrounded by trees and other earthy materials, allows children to discover new manipulatives to build with (e.g. rocks, twigs, sand, etc.) and use their senses while exploring their environment. 

  • Exploring nature in a playground could be especially helpful for children in urban areas, who may not have access to natural areas.
  • Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress, and have lower incidences of behavioral disorders, anxiety and depression. 

Play More

It’s evident that playgrounds have many benefits from boosting children’s physical health to helping them become one with nature. Research and professionals agree that play supports the different areas of development.  So go ahead and have some outside fun!

Posted by Matt Miller

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