Parks and Recreation: 5 Systems to Check On Before This Summer Heats Up

  • May 15, 2018

Parks and Recreation

The phrase “parks and recreation” often makes a lot of people think of a certain TV show, but those in the industry know that it’s so much more than that.


Actually working at a parks and recreation facility requires a lot of hard work, industry knowledge, and keeping up with best practices and trends. While everyone from program coordinators to maintenance staff has a lot to worry about, park superintendents are really under pressure. This is because they have to manage the entire operation’s needs and concerns. Over the past 20 years, digital advancements helped remove some of these pressures by streamlining certain aspects of park management.

5 Important Systems to Streamline Operations and Improve your Facility

We took a look at the most pressing concerns for parks and recreation professionals and found the 5 most important systems for optimizing operations. Make sure your systems are working to get the most out of your year.

1. Booking Systems

The first item on our list is a booking system. Depending on the type of facility you own, you can use booking systems to fit your needs. For example, parks may need booking systems for camp grounds, grills, and pavilions. However, more athletic-focused venues need booking systems for tennis courts, baseball fields, and other areas used by outside organizations.

Electronic booking systems not only make the process easier for your visitors, but they also make your job easier as well. Using booking systems means you have one less thing you have to worry about. While some argue that electronic booking can lead to mistakes, human booking is not infallible either. With the likelihood of a beautiful and hot summer season here in the U.S., an electronic booking system is perfect for handling a heavy influx of visitors.

2. Membership Management

The next system on our list is membership management. While not all parks require membership, the ones that do know managing memberships can be a hassle. Using spreadsheets is not only outdated but dangerous. If you forget to save along the way, your information is lost. Not to mention, if you experience a power outage while entering information your entire file could be compromised.

New systems that offer membership management are an easy and often cheap fix for parks and recreation facilities struggling to keep track. Streamline your management process with systems that automatically send critical messages to your members to renew their membership or alert them when areas are closed.

3. Health Record System

The third important system on our list for parks and recreation facilities is a health record system. These types of systems are especially important for facilities that host young children and camps over the summer. Electronic health record systems for camps allows management to keep track of lots of different information.

For example, CampDoc, a system leader in the space, stores travel and emergency medical data and helps keep track of parent emails. These types of systems are perfect for camp doctors, nurses, and directors. Not to mention, having this system will definitely make some parents feel more at ease. Remember to keep safety at the forefront of your operations this season.

4. Lightning System

Speaking of safety, our next item on the list also has to do with keeping your visitors out of harm’s way. Did you know 64% of lightning deaths since 2006 happen while people are participating in outdoor leisure activities? This means that a lot of those deaths happened at parks and recreation facilities. Fishing, camping, boating, soccer, and golf are all activities that put people at major risk when severe weather rolls through.

Oftentimes, the lack of a venue policy leaves the decision in the hands of parents, referees, or public officials in the area. This is not a safe plan. Lightning can strike you even when a storm is over 10 miles away. The only way to protect your guests from severe weather is to equip them with the technology do to so and enforce a science-backed lightning policy.

Great systems that combine these two important factors are systems with horns that are connected to a large total lightning network. This way, the horn only goes off when storms are actually coming (minimizing false alarms) and there is no way to for anyone to dispute or ignore the warning.

Now, you can get a free consult with an Earth Networks expert to see how a lightning detection system can improve your operations specifically.


5. Security Systems

The last item on our list also has to do with safety. Security systems are an important tool for many parks and recreation facilities, especially ones that contain expensive equipment and buildings. And for you Parks and Rec fans – no, we’re not talking about Bert Macklin, FBI.


It is always a good idea to include a security system at your park.  It’s proven that people will not visit parks or recreation facilities or participate in programs offered by those facilities if they do not feel safe. Use a system that incorporates cameras and local police involvement to ensure guest protection and prevent vandalism and other crimes at your venue.