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Enhancing Large Outdoor Spaces


Our surroundings have a significant impact on our mental health both at work, at home and around the neighborhood. If you are in the position to offer input regarding your work campus or housing development, you may want to make some substantial changes. Trees and green space are a must, but you can customize areas for maximum use and enjoyment. Different features will be best for different uses so the first step is to determine your needs and usage goals.

Activity

In some regions, green spaces are interspersed throughout neighborhoods to promote physical activity. If this is the case for you, include numerous bike paths and walking trails. The National Park Service offers guidelines for trail specifics, and local entities may offer recommendations as well. If the budget allows, incorporate physical fitness stations at intervals along one of the paths. Equipment can be grouped together so that you can implement a full circuit in even the smallest spaces.
Workday Use
If you are designing a work campus or an open space surrounded by businesses you will want the area to appeal to adults taking breaks from stressful jobs. Add features that promote serenity like an Asian inspired garden. Display a group of sculptures by a local artist. Develop the park around a pond or small lake; for aesthetics and cleanliness incorporate pond aerators and fountains in the design. Set watering systems to activate before 6 a.m. and after 7 p.m. to avoid soaking users in their business suits. Be sure there are picnic tables especially if the property borders eateries or is frequented by food trucks.
Families
Bringing families to the park can maximize park usage from sunrise to sunset. Install playground equipment for those with young children and a skate park for teens. Set aside a fenced area as a dog parkand be sure to include clean-up stations that are regularly stocked with waste bags. Picnic tables should be included in the design, ideally under shade trees. For best results, set up twice as many trash receptacles as you think you will need.

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