Complete Parks Playbook 13 Activate Programming Activities and Amenities for Parks The most successful parks are those that the entire community can use and enjoy. Communities should provide a variety of programs and amenities throughout the day to serve all populations, including children, low-income families, the elderly, and people with limited physical mobility or other disabilities. These programs should be responsive to community needs and changing demographics. Ongoing engagement with both park users and nonusers (discussed in the Engage section of this Playbook) is critical to determine community preferences for programming and amenities as well as needs that remain unmet. Local policy and programming should prioritize activities that the residents want to participate in, as determined by the results of community surveys or other means. The goal is to attract a diverse group of people and eliminate “dead” times when few people are in the park. Staff responsible for programming should think creatively about how to meet community needs. For example, a neighborhood concerned about rising obesity rates may be interested in exercise classes at their local recreational facility. But since high obesity rates often go hand-in-hand with high levels of food insecurity, a park could further support that community’s needs by promoting access to healthy food. A park can host farmers’ markets, community garden plots, fruit tree orchards that can be harvested by residents, and/or nutrition education classes. Parks can also promote community health by providing healthy vending options. Parks often provide a space for quiet reflection or respite from a busy day. Public art can contribute to a peaceful atmosphere where community residents can recharge. POTENTIAL POLICIES for programming activities for Parks • Healthy Vending Policy • Tobacco Free Policy • Zoning for Farmers’ Markets and Community Gardens • Nutrition Guidelines • Public Art Policy • General Plan (which includes policies to support a variety of programming activities)