A key ingredient to happy community living is having a park in your neighbourhood. A park in the community creates social bonds and interactions not only between the young ones playing but also the regular walkers, fitness enthusiasts, and elders out for fresh air. Aside from the social benefit, it is a commonly known that those living near parks are typically healthier and report fewer instances of stress, anxiety, sadness and depression.
According to the http://www.parks-week.org/, “parks play a vital role in creating liveable cities and thriving communities. They are our most frequented spaces for recreational activities and provide opportunities for tourism, conservation and the social interaction that is vital for a connected and resilient population.”
The New Zealand Recreation Association and Parks and Leisure Australia are to help organise Parks Week 4th – 12th March, 2017. They aim to promote the many benefits of parks and open spaces. Councils and other organisations are geared to run “engaging events to raise awareness on the value of parks and open spaces, and to get people out of their living rooms and enjoying the outdoors.”
Importance of fencing
Just as the park is to the community, the fence is to the park! As we understand the importance of parks, we also understand the importance of fencing.
Whether wooden or metallic, fences are a key aspect of landscaping and of course is an essential for barricading and safety.
As we progress in developing high-end, child development oriented safer play areas, is important to make the right safety checks in the open spaces of parks. One cannot restrict children from exploring but obvious and inaccessible barricading of areas that are unsuitable for younger park goers is a must.
Areas with large water bodies, heavily wooded parts of the park and thorny or rocky trails must be clearly segregated to avoid any unforeseen accidents.
As we secure the insides of the park with wooden or metallic fencing, we must also consider that the park and its people must be protected from unwanted elements. The right kind of fencing will help in making sure the park is protected from trespassers. It is an important measure to make sure the park is free of vandalism and destruction. If the park is close to a wooded area, or forest, the right kind of fencing will help keep stray animals out of the park.
Design by Separation
Urban planners and park designers are adept at cleverly integrating fences as design elements. While landscaping, fences can add great value to design. Using well-suited fencing can help create attractive and focussed areas in the park. Consider this interesting idea by Tejo Remy.
Remy used the simple fence to ask “Can a fence become a meeting point or a sitting area?”. The Social Fence of Remy and Veenhuizen transforms part of an existing fence to lounge- and sitting spots for pupils. Remy says, “The idea to transform the existing fence into a meeting place originated in the desire to change the perception upon the mostly negatively experienced fence. A distortion of the existing rhythm creates meeting places on both sides of the fence. The work, that covers five fence parts, joins the existing fence in terms of measurements and colour. In this charming social fence, the protrusions and recessions are not only eye-catching, but they allow for a more active interaction between those on either side of the fence, providing seats, benches, nooks and playspaces for children.”
Tips for choosing fencing
You may recall from your childhood the hilarious story of Tom Sawyer convincing his friends that painting a fence was the greatest and most exciting work of all. One cannot deny that the fences are important aspects of landscapes, open spaces, and parks. Fortunately, unlike Tom and friend’s we don’t need to paint fences all summer. Here are some tips for choosing great fencing for your parks!
The main visitors in parks are young children and senior citizens. While, the idea of safety tends to be more in terms of overall planning of the park, poor quality of materials is the primary cause of injuries in any public setting. It is essential to pick fencing that is finished in high quality materials. If choosing metal fencing ensure that the joints and welds are properly sanded and polished.
Avoid metals that are prone to rusting or understand the durability and quality of the coating used. If selecting wooden fencing, ensure the high-quality hard wood is used. Avoid woods that are brittle and that can hurt the skin.
When selecting high quality materials, research the regulations on durability and double check warranties. Due to high traffic of visitors and exposure to natural elements, fencing material undergoes excessive strain. Be certain that the manufacturer has provided the durability of material that take these stresses. This preventive measure will bode well for the visitors and the park in the long run.
Never let anyone tell you that fences are boring. Using a beautifully designed fence can change the way you interact with your surroundings.
As you continuously strive to maintain the natural landscaping of your park, the addition of a well designed and appealing fence can lift the look of the park manifold. Here are some inspirational design ideas for fences:
Fence with vertical herb garden
The park is not just about play areas and strolls. The essence of park is the community and it is important to have many activities around the community park. As the farm to table concept becomes so essential to our living and learning it is not uncommon for neighbourhoods and communities to participate in planting and urban farming activities. Wouldn’t it interesting to use your fence for a lovely, fresh herb garden!
History is our best teacher
As we return to our roots, we are keen to learn and imbibe traditional values and ideas. Here is beautiful fence idea from historic times.
Just paint it!
Needless to say, you can just buy simple fencing and get creative! If you have the resource commission an artist.
If you don’t have an artist, you can grab a stencil, go free hand or consider getting the children in the community to get together and have a ball.
In the end, gather data from experienced specialists, thoroughly research and understand the needs of the park. As a park is an area of high public access, your local authorities may have stringent laws and stipulations when putting up fencing, ensure that all execution teams and project stakeholders are aware of the regulations in your area.