We probably aren’t telling you groundbreaking news when we say that more people have been finding as many reasons to get outside and breathe in the fresh air during the pandemic than they had in previous years. Shocker, right?
What you may not know is that even though there have been a lot of changes and activities have evolved a bit – more of those people who had been cooped up indoors for weeks or months at a time are now taking to Public Trails than ever before. It’s a boom time for biking, hiking, running and walking!
In this article we want to talk about how you can accommodate more people on bikes, runners, and casual trail users and the boom in outdoor recreational activities that has been happening. Additionally, we’d like to help you address higher visitor traffic and provide a more inviting space whether you are a commercial organization, a municipal recreation department, or a community builder (or someone else entirely). Benches make sense in a time when more people are trying to get outdoors than previous years. So let’s connect the dots to show how an increase in outdoor recreational activity leads to the importance of park benches, trail benches and picnic tables with seating.
Bicycling, jogging, walking and other outdoor recreational activities have become increasingly interesting hobbies for more people than ever
So, we already covered the idea that biking is making a lot of sense for a lot of people right now. The actual riding of a bike can help improve physical health, while being out in the fresh air can improve mental health and well-being. Quick moving bicycles have “built-in” social distancing, while bicycling in general, is a great social activity. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
What’s not to love about an increase in biking around urban areas, parks, trails and throughout the landscape, regardless of where you live? Well, people like to be social, and they like to enjoy their recreational time, and sometimes bicycling isn’t just about racking up the miles and accomplishing austere goals for world speed records. You are getting a lot of free-time bike users, and more casual riders too. But there are also huge changes in the amount of walkers, hikers and runners that are now using trails and other pedestrian-focused infrastructure. Sure, biking is up, but so is outdoor recreation on a whole!
Casual riders and those using bikes to move across only a short or moderate distance also crave places to rest, relax and be social – even if it means distancing a bit more than they have in the past. The same is true for those trail and path users that aren’t on a bike. They want to enjoy the great outdoors and seating like commercial quality benches can be a game changer for improving user comfort and making an ideal recreational spot.
And as we mentioned before, it’s not just a bike boom though. People have been increasing outdoor workouts, walking and jogging too. The numbers of hikers and trail users are up substantially. The numbers of families and individuals using public spaces for exercise and recreation are way up – These increases in numbers makes trails, parks and public infrastructure more relevant than ever.
How do our outdoor recreational activities connect us?
People are social – it’s a fact of life. And they will continue to work towards being out and about, regardless of the hurdles that nature or even health concerns will put in front of them. That’s why parks, benches and recreational relaxation areas make so much sense right now. The great outdoors is inviting – it’s comfortable – and spaces that are designed to enhance that comfort and improve the quality of the experience are seeing record breaking visitor numbers. People know that they can breathe outdoor air safely and they want to be outside seeing life happen.
Park benches are cost effective ways for organizations to provide great environmental enhancements while still keeping the impact on the natural surroundings minimal, and also catering to a diverse set of needs for the users that frequent public spaces for recreational purposes.
So when on a bike, people will tend to stop to visit, take stock of their recreational time and enjoy the outdoor area. Parks, trails and public infrastructure, therefore are perfect places to increase seating areas and allow for people to enjoy themselves while they find an excuse to take their time getting back to the indoor areas they came from.
And, while out in public, even during this awkward time that has changed so many things about how we interact, people like talking and interacting and enjoying other people. Park benches help to improve those interactions and provide a way for communal gathering to occur, without making things too formal or too uncomfortable.
Sometimes you just want a place to sit down and take in the fresh air – Meet Kay Park Benches!
Whether you are a business, a park administrator, a municipal buyer or part of the planning for a regional, state, or national park – every outdoor space is enhanced with premium outdoor furniture that helps improve comfort and safety. And places for sitting can help with that in a lot of ways.
Older folks don’t want to feel uncomfortable on long walks, but those long walks help them to be healthy and relax, while still getting out and doing something fun. More outdoor seating like benches make sense for these folks.
Bicyclists want to take a rest sometimes while traversing steep inclines on trails they have never before ridden. Help them catch their breath by installing more seating along the trail side or even the road side.
Families with children know that little legs means frequent stops. Kids like to observe their surroundings and see what there is to see. Park benches and picnic tables are ideal ways to be more inclusive of families while still providing safe distancing and varied infrastructure for others who are using the same space.
Here are some of the Kay Park Benches that might make sense for your outdoor space
Outdoor concrete benches are timeless, durable and weatherproof and they have that long-lasting monolithic feel – they are great for spaces that need to serve a lot of users and are public facing, because they are so durable and last for a long time. They are also very recognizable and approachable, and easy to maintain.
Contoured benches offer enhanced seating comfort and take up minimal footprints, generally. They are ideal for places where you think your visitors might want to sit for prolonged periods of time, maybe at sunset, or after a big lunch with friends or family in a park or along a riding trail.
Backless benches are economical, great for short visit durations, like for users of trails, where sitting down is a short term thing, and just provides a bit of respite. They have tiny footprints so they fit well along trails with high traffic and small shoulder widths. Taking a load off is important and having more benches means you’re going to invite a more diverse population to your trail or park.
Recreational facilities that have sports fields can benefit from durable, easy to install, aluminum and steel benches – they fit that athletic scene quite well and offer exceptional durability and don’t deprioritize the real reason most visitors are in that space to begin with – sports and recreation.
Have a variable weather area you need to provide more seating in? Plastisol coated steel outdoor furniture is an ideal solution. It’s very durable, resistant to just about all environmental factors that might negatively affect other bench materials, and they are long-term high ROI items that are easy to maintain. If you need weather protection – polyvinyl coated steel benches are the business!
Want to show off your eco-conscious savvy? Recycled plastic, or hybrid bench styles prove that you are in the outdoor conservation mindset and care about the environment. Not only do they provide durable, practical seating solutions, they are also built from materials that are finding a new life in their long-term design. Doing good by your visitors, while doing right by the environment. It feels as good to sit on these benches as it does to know you’re helping to reduce waste and improve carbon footprints.
Picnic tables make so much sense in so many settings from urban to rural, park to trail, to visitor center or restaurant. Have a look at the various picnic tables we offer for outdoor spaces too – you might be surprised how much you like the idea of communal seating for food and beverage, and relaxation needs.
Parks, trails and people – perfect for benches
It seems pretty clear that benches and other seating for your outdoor space are critical pieces to providing an inviting space. Let us help you find the right additions for your public areas. Have a look at the diverse, high-quality portfolio of outdoor furniture Kay Park offers and then use the cart to purchase if you’re convinced you’ve found the right stuff. If you’re as convinced as we are that you cannot go wrong with a bench – or several – shop benches now.
If you aren’t sure, or you need some help with planning your outdoor expansion or a new outdoor space, we can help you with that. We have a whole team of really experienced people who have done this type of work for many years. We’ve got some amazing ideas that can help you decide what’s best for your area, or the people you’d like to outfit the perfect outdoor area for. Just get in touch with us, we’d love to work with you to bring more happiness to the people!