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Churchich park benches and accessories

Creating a Space Your Community Will Enjoy with Outdoor Park Accessories

Posted by Churchich Content Team Content on December 20, 2022

Adding a new outdoor park to your community, or even upgrading an existing park, can be an arduous but rewarding project.

There are so many steps and milestones along the journey from the inception of the idea, to acquiring approval and community back, to seeking funding, to deciding on the location and design, to the actual construction and completion.

One of the finishing touches to adding a new community park, or upgrading an existing facility, is to decide which outdoor park accessories to include.

“Adding these accessories will help you create a stylish and functional space for your community to enjoy,” says Wabash Valley, which has been providing durable, functional, high-end site furnishings for over 30 years.

Of course, no project has an unlimited bunch, or unlimited space, so hard choices will have to be made when it comes to what outdoor park accessories to install.

“Learning about the different types of park accessories and what to consider when buying them will help you choose the best amenities for your project,” says Wabash Valley.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Outdoor Park Accessories

Before purchasing your outdoor park accessories, you must consider several factors about what you want to include.

“Think about who will be using the park, the goals for the park, how much maintenance will be required, your budget, and how you’ll achieve design consistency,” says Wabash Valley.

Here is a closer look at each of the factors you should consider:

  • What is Your Target Audience: What audience do you want your park to attract, and, realistically, what type of audience will typically frequent your park? When it comes to amenities and accessories, the difference between the wants and needs of families with young children differ from the wants and needs of teens and young adults to the wants and needs of senior citizens in your community. How will you address the needs of your audience, including accessibility needs?
  • Try Some Goal Setting: How you choose your outdoor park accessories will have a direct correlation with how your facility is used. Set some goals on how your park will be used and then will help guide you to the right accessories to reach those goals. If you want a gathering place for events and celebrations, for example, then you would have picnic tables and benches, trash receptacles, and grills high on your priority list. If your goal is to stress exercise, then you would want to purchase equipment that encourages that goal
  • Maintenance is Not Optional: You must consider maintenance, upkeep, and repair requirements of any accessories you purchase for your outdoor park. Maintenance is not optional, so be realistic about what your staffing levels are, and what the maintenance budget will be going forward when choosing items.
  • Keep on Budget: In a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to choose outdoor park accessories, but every project must live within its set financial means. Consider your budget for accessories, then prioritize your wish list, and then match it up to decide on what makes the cut.
  • Stay on Design: Your park was carefully planned and designed to give it an aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional, look. Now is not the time to choose material, colors, or visuals that do not blend into your project. Your goal should be a unified look as if the accessories were installed at the exact same time the park was initially built.

Types of Outdoor Park Accessories for Your Project

When it comes time to pick out your outdoor park accessories, you can feel like a kid let loose in a candy store because there are so many fun choices! Here are different types of outdoor park accessories to consider for your project:

  • Benches: These accessories are so essential, it's hard to call them an accessory as every outdoor space needs comfortable, and attractive, benches for people of all ages to sit down and relax. Benches are needed just about everywhere, including:

o   Around playgrounds

o   Alongside walking and running trails

o   Around athletic fields and sports courts

o   Around dog parks

o   Any area that has a view to be enjoyed such as a lake, fountain, garden, or grove of trees.

Benches can be “memorial benches” that are dedicated to members of your community.

Benches should match the design and look of your park. They can be made of the following materials:

o   Wood

o   Metal

o   Plastic

  • Picnic Tables: Enjoying a picnic at the park with family and friends is about as American as apple pie and baseball. Consider what size picnic tables you want to install, and how many people you need room for at each table, and make sure to leave plenty of room around each picnic table for movement. When it comes to maintenance, consider how easy (or hard?) it will be to clean the accessory.
  • Game Tables: Another way to add a great social element to your outdoor park is the addition of game tables which encourages people to come together. Checkers, chess, and other gaming patterns can be added to your park.
  • Shade Structures: You need to provide your parkgoers with protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays and shade structures will accomplish this. If you do not have trees that can add shade, then umbrellas and other man-made shade structures are crucial. Some tables and seating can come with shade structures attached.
  • Trash Receptacles: Nothing will limit traffic to your park more than if it becomes dirty and has litter on the grounds. Placing trash receptacles and recycling bins within easy reach is a must to keep your park clean. Some things to consider when choosing your trash receptacles:

o   Location: They must be visible and within reach. Wherever you stand in your park, you should have a clearly marked trash receptacle within reach.


o   Design: Trash receptacles come in all shapes, sizes, and colors so pick out a design that keeps with the theme and feel of your park.


o   Number and size: Trash receptacles are not good if they become full so quickly that they overflow so consider what size bins you need based on what sort of foot traffic and type of trash will be discarded. You have the option of a fewer number of large receptacles or a greater number of smaller bins, but in the end, you need enough trash receptacles to handle your park’s trash volume.


  • Bike Racks: You surely address parking of vehicles in your park’s design and construction but do not forget about those who bike to your park. Convenient bike racks are an accessory that is not only useful (prevents bikes from laying around the grounds and tripping hazards) but can encourage more biking to your park, a healthy activity that helps the environment.
  • Dog and Dog Park Accessories: Man’s best friend needs dog waste stations with appropriate receptacles and disposable bags. If you have added a dog park, then you will need accessories inside of it such as benches, tables, dog water fountains, and even obstacles and play accessories like hurdles and tunnels for the dogs.
  • Grills and Fire Rings: Having grills can add to get-togethers and group meetings at your park. Options range from open, non-covered grills near picnic tables that use charcoal to covered grills that use gas. Typically, protective shelters are added when putting grills in place. Fire rings are similar to grills but can double as a grilling surface and fire pit if your park rules allow fires.
  • Hand Sanitizing Stations: This accessory has become a more important priority since the pandemic started, but they are always a good idea since so many of the items in your park are high-touch surfaces.
  • Planters: You can add small trees and plants into your park design by adding planters. These areas help protect what you are adding by keeping it away from foot traffic and the planters can also add as natural boundaries.
  • Tree Grates: You no doubt are used to seeing tree grates in areas like city sidewalks, but they can be a good addition to your trees because they can:

o   Protect tree roots from damage

o   Provide the tree roots with space to get sun, air, and water

o   Add a design element to your park

o   Protect your park from tripping, and possibly injuring themselves, on exposed tree roots.

  • Signage: Last but not least, signage is important to help direct people around your park, and alert them to amenities and rules, and regulations.