Creating Better Places to Play

June 30, 2020

Ranging from splash pads and playgrounds to sports complexes and urban parks, Hitchcock Design Group’s broad recreation design experience has sharpened our abilities to create better places to play. This month, we’d like to present you with expert information on how the nature-play experience can enhance developmental learning.

Andy Howard: The Benefits of Nature-Based Play

Opinion: How will COVID-19 affect recreation in our communities?

This will go down as one of the weirdest years of our lives. We find ourselves wondering if our world is forever changed and if so, how should we adapt our patterns for the new reality? In the recreation industry, we have spent our careers promoting the value of social connectivity and interaction through active and passive opportunities that are readily available in parks. The value is still present but our receptiveness to it may be altered.

We have just begun to think about the potential ramifications to the future of park design and operations and quickly realized that we need to involve more experts and research further before proclaiming any conclusions. We plan to gather leaders in the recreation community to hear thoughts about impacts to their systems and solutions found that might lead us into the future. We might find that everything will return to normal in a few months or that we need to take drastic action to remedy our current conditions or, more likely, strike a balance that could improve our current parks for future generations in a safe, creative, and sustainable manner.

Our recreation studios have met weekly throughout the Stay-at-Home order and have come up with the following ideas of how recreation may be effected by COVID-19. Please keep in mind that the following is just speculation based on group brainstorming. These ideas should not be taken as recommendations or counseling but rather jumping off points to open the doors for conversation among peers.

Other Resources

Design Principal Andy Howard recently participated in a roundtable discussion with Kompan (playground equipment manufacturers) about COVID-19:

The Spaces We Share (an article by Recreation Management Magazine about the value of destination parks on a community):