For a relaxing park, think low-maintenance

05Oct12

As I walked past a nearby park last weekend, I noticed a strange phenomenon: the number of people working there exceeded the number of people who were at the park for recreational purposes. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed a lot of workers scattered throughout the park. In fact, it’s a direct consequence of the overly-manicured aesthetic that the people in charge are trying to cultivate.

What am I referring to? Basically, the park is filled with flower beds that tend to die off as soon as the weather is too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry. After each such cycle, a team of gardeners is dispatched to dig up the dead stuff and plant the replacement flowers. And that means you’re going to have a nearly-constant stream of people working there.

Aside from the obvious cost inefficiencies of this approach, it also means the park is less relaxing than it should be. After all, who wants to sit on a bench near what is basically a construction site? To remedy this, park operators should think low-maintenance. Instead of planting individual beds of flowers that are highly sensitive to the elements, just plant grass and trees that are designed to last year-round. By adopting this strategy, you’ll not only save money, but also increase the number of days when visitors can enjoy the park without feeling like it’s a messy work-in-progress.



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