Must-Watch Trends in Parks and Recreation for 2024

trends in parks and recreation
trends in parks and recreation

It is time to unveil the latest trends in parks and recreation for 2024 and beyond. If you enjoy playing cricket, you will be a fan of what is to come this year. 

New Recreational Sports

While the pandemic initially led to a surge in park and trail usage, recent national trends indicate a decline in park walking. However, this shift does not imply an overall negative trajectory for park activities. Pickleball will remain the fastest-growing recreational sport nationwide, leading to parks continue integrating pickleball courts- either by repurposing existing tennis courts or establishing new dedicated spaces.

Pickleball isn’t the sole recreational activity gaining momentum; cricket is also experiencing a surge in popularity. The growing demand for infrastructure and facilities for cricket has prompted park agencies to incorporate dedicated spaces for this expanding sport.

Learn how AssetWorks EAM can help with recreational space maintenance:

Sustainability Practices

As we transition into a post-climate change era, park agencies adapting to this new challenge by embracing innovative approaches. A new trend we are seeing is the integration of eco-friendly landscaping and sustainable infrastructure, incorporating renewable and low-impact construction materials. This strategic shift not only addresses immediate environmental concerns but also ensures long-term sustainability, positioning parks as leaders of our changing ecosystem.

trends in parks and recreation
Designated Space for Our Furry Friends

A growing trend in park departments involves the incorporation of dog parks. These designated areas provide a safe and controlled environment for dogs to exercise, socialize, and interact with other pets. The trend is a response to the rising number of pet owners and the desire to create inclusive spaces for humans and their furry companions. Park agencies are incorporating amenities like agility courses, water features, and designated play zones for the community dogs.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (AR)

We have seen virtual engagement transform parks and recreation departments. In 2024, we anticipate AR applications to join virtual reality and further enhance the parkgoer experience with the following:

  • Guided Tours
    Visitors use smartphones or AR glasses for a self-guided tour.
  • Educational Experiences
    Users can point their devices at plants or animals local to the park to receive information about them.
  • Park Navigation
    AR apps help parkgoers find their way through the park by overlaying digital directions.
  • Interactive Playgrounds
    Provide interactive games and activities to enhance playgrounds.
  • Fitness and Exercise Apps
    Gamify exercise in parks by engaging visitors through scavenger hunts, fitness challenges, and more through AR.
Increased Inclusive and Accessible Design

In 2024, more park designs prioritize inclusivity, ensuring accessibility for all visitors. This involves features like accessible playground equipment, bathrooms, seating areas, and walkways for people with disabilities.

Intergenerational playgrounds, with inclusive activities and fitness opportunities for older adults, continue to make their way into parks globally. Both inclusive and intergenerational playgrounds are for diverse users. 

To learn how AssetWorks EAM can help your park department keep up with the ever-changing industry trends, fill out the form below.
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