The Correct Way to Capital Plan for a Community Playground

parks and recreation
parks and recreation

Even though dedicated taxes and appropriations are primarily used to fund the creation of parks and green spaces, local governments frequently need to come up with financial solutions for park operations and maintenance. With limited resources, Parks and Recreation Departments nationwide must be proactive and create a capital planning strategy to continue meeting the community’s needs- including with their playgrounds. 

Why Playgrounds?

Community playgrounds offer benefits beyond offering children a place to play. Playgrounds offer kids a place to practice social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills. 

Breaking Down the Budget

Something this priceless unfortunately comes with a high price tag due to it being a complex system with different project stages:

  • Play Equipment Costs (55% of Cost)
    Your budget for play equipment will depend on the number of children using your playground at a given time. To determine how much money to put towards your playground, budget $1,000 per child. If you want your playground to entertain 30 kids at a given time, your budget should be $30,000.
  • Installation Costs (27% of Cost)
    Installation includes site preparation, playground installation, and surfacing installation. The amount you will need to budget for installation depends on the playground site. If the playground site’s surface has subsurface rock, you must budget more for installation. With every landscape being different, parks departments must plan for these costs. 
  • Surfacing Costs (11% of Cost)
    Surfacing costs should not be skipped over and are crucial to protecting those who utilize your playground. This portion will include the cost of preparing the site and installing a safety surface (e.x. engineered wood fiber or shredded rubber). The surface material selected plays a major role in the cost of the playground’s maintenance over its life cycle. Some surfaces- such as engineered wood fiber- require minimal maintenance, while others- like rubberized surfacing- require little to no maintenance.
  • Shipping Costs (7% of Cost)
    The cost to ship equipment and materials depends on the number of products shipped and the playground’s proximity to the manufacturer’s facility. 
Be Proactive By Capital Planning

To ensure your playground receives the appropriate amount of funding, investing in asset management software can ensure parks departments account for all areas of ongoing projects. Asset management software, such as AssetWorks Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software, offers capital planning so departments can plan for unforeseen challenges- ensuring the playground gets completed on time and under budget. 

Parks and recreation departments typically have more than one project at a time. With limited funds, dynamic reporting and tracking from EAM allow departments to stay on top of allocated funds and prioritize based on real data.  

Fill out the form below to receive a custom demo and see how AssetWorks EAM can help your department manage and maintain its budgets and funding:
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