School's Out for Summer

If new athletic or play equipment is not in your budget this year, why not give your park a “facelift”.

Fill the cracks in the pavement. For macadam pavement, if the crack is deep, fill the bottom with gravel before placing filler material. Leave gravel about 4” from finished grade. Finish-off with an asphalt sealer. If your concrete pavement is cracked, fill bottom of deep cracks with gravel first. For cracks up to ¾” wide, a typical crack filler product is sufficient.

Replace rotted timber edging. If a portion of the edging is damaged, replace only that portion. If most of it is damaged, then you have the option of replacing it in kind or replacing it with recycled plastic lumber or plastic/steel edging.

Prepare for rain. Poor storm drainage can be as simple as unclogging the inlet drain grate if leaves or trash have built up. Gutters on park facilities may be clogged with leaves that should be cleared to promote flow.

Look for signs of erosion. Since erosion usually results in loss of soil, the best fix is to cover the soil to prevent loss of material. Grass lawn or groundcover such as crown vetch or ivy is adequate possibilities. If the area is small and not too steep, it can be planted with shrubs and mulched.

Develop a maintenance schedule. Eliminate the weeds. Overgrown weeds can be quite the eyesore in your park. Pull the weeds in smaller areas. If there are weeds in non-vegetated areas such as sidewalk joints and pavement cracks, a retail herbicide can be used.

Replenish the mulch. Playground guidelines state that in order to achieve full impact attenuation ability with regard to playground safety surfacing, twelve inches (12”) minimum of mulch must be held in place at all times. Daily and weekly maintenance of problem areas (under swings and at the chute bottom of slides is necessary to keep the depth of woodchips to their functional level.

Apply a fresh coat of paint. Basketball Hoops: replace your goal and/or backstop if they look tattered or bent out of shape. If still in good condition, perhaps a coat of white paint on the backboard will do the trick. Simply clean the backboard with a detergent solution, wire brush off any loose scale, prime and finish with white enamel coating.