Playgrounds have been an important part of the community since the 1950s. Even today, they are pivotal in bringing people together. Several studies have highlighted the importance of playgrounds in a community. They improve the quality of life and act as a place to socialize. However, over the long run, their cost of maintenance can start to add up. This is why we must move towards sustainable playgrounds. Further, a community that believes in sustainable practices are known to have several additional benefits.
When one thinks of parks, images of grassy areas, ball fields, or maybe a few trees come to mind. While this kind of design does provide benefits, it offers a limited value to the environment. In fact, residential parks can often end up degrading the local ecosystem due to regular maintenance and improper land use. On the other hand, sustainable playgrounds aim to incorporate as much of the natural environment as they can. With fewer paths and fields and more trees, sustainable parks balance community needs and environmental concerns.
Sustainable parks use eco-friendly materials in their equipment. Using eco-friendly materials reduces human impact. Even though eco-friendly playground equipment might be high-value, they drastically decrease the lifetime cost of equipment maintenance. In addition, they also last longer than metal equipment that is susceptible to things like rust. Using eco-friendly equipment can exponentially increase the sustainability of a park.
Decreased maintenance costs
Other than the one-time costs, most parks also require regular maintenance over the years. The maintenance is resource and labour-intensive. It is far more expensive to maintain a ‘designed’ park than one that incorporates the natural environment. More often than not sustainable playgrounds take care of their own needs and require less human intervention.
Connection to nature
Natural playgrounds are better for children. There is mounting evidence to support this from the experts. Contact with nature and natural material supports the growth of children, It stimulates imagination and creativity. In fact, parks using natural materials instead of metal are proven to be better at engaging children. It also increases interest in things like environmental awareness from a young age.
Sustainable playgrounds have larger tracts of trees and plants. As such they are far more biodiverse than regular ones. Many species of birds and butterflies can continue to inhabit such parks, unlike conventional ones. They can also provide flood control and water benefits. With a higher catchment area, they can store more runoff water and increase the city’s water table.
Time spent in a natural environment relieves mental fatigue. It also decreases the feelings of anxiety or aggression that stem from it. Among children, it is known to have a positive impact on cognitive disorders like ADHD. Studies have also shown that such playgrounds have a host of benefits like lower bp and cholesterol levels.
The movement for a shift towards a more sustainable environment is at its zenith. With constantly increasing environmental concerns, we must ensure an eco-friendly environment at playgrounds. Doing so is just the first step in moving towards sustainability. By devoting more and more attention to the natural resources in playgrounds, the livability of our town will be enhanced. Such efforts will also offset the negative impact of climate change and bring a positive impact on the environment.