A school is a busy place. There is movement not only during drop-off and pick-up times, but also during the day at lunches and recess periods.
You want your school landscaping to be attractive and designed to keep kids safe, but you also want it to be well-maintained to securely enable this hectic movement on your property day in and day out.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind for child friendly landscaping for schools.
6 Kid Friendly Landscaping Ideas
Depending on your educational facility, you likely have children of varying ages moving about on your property. So you want them to be able to enjoy the environment, while being safe and secure.
To look professional and show parents you are keeping your site tidy takes proper maintenance. As such, there are many considerations to keep in mind when it comes to child friendly landscaping that gets the job done but doesn’t get in the way of your nonstop activity.
1. Keep the Worst Pests Under Control
Teachers must provide instruction and ensure students’ safety throughout the school day. However, this doesn’t mean they can stop everything and check every student for mosquito bites and ticks every time they go in and out of the building.
Yet, the situation is dire when you consider the plethora of insect-borne illnesses these pests carry. Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease are just a few of the dozen or so they can transmit.
Including a regular pest control protocol to target these pests during their active seasons as part of your kid friendly landscaping can help keep them at bay.
2. No Time For Weeds
Weeds can make your educational facility look unkempt, unattractive, and can give parents and teachers the idea that you aren’t invested in keeping your school grounds safe and professional-looking.
In children’s play areas, they can grow tall and unwieldy, getting in the way of play. And on a lawn, they can not only look messy, but also create trip and fall hazards for kids running around during recess or sports practices. And things like poison ivy can give kids an itchy rash, so you’ll want to keep invasive weeds like this out of school yards as well.
This is why weed control is an essential part of kid friendly landscaping.
3. Maintenance Schedule & Safety Considerations
Besides heavy traffic before and after school, as well as lunches and recesses when kids may be going outdoors for activities, there are narrow windows when work can get done on these sites.
But Kid friendly landscaping means your commercial landscape contractor should be able to work within your schedule and be able to conduct mowing, pruning, and other service tasks at appropriate hours when it’s not impeding traffic or causing safety hazards. This might be immediately after school starts or when everyone has gone home for the day, depending on other scheduled activities.
You also want to make sure your service provider uses machines equipped with safety features. For instance, mowers should have shoots or guards to prevent debris or rocks from flying out in different directions.
4. Smart Pruning
Because the flow of traffic on a school landscape is continuous and repetitive, keeping sight lines clear is a must on a school property.
Pruning trees and shrubs to avoid scraggly branches that stick out into walkways or block entranceways is crucial in child friendly landscaping. This isn’t only for preventing accidents, but also to ensure teachers can see kids clearly while they’re playing.
Keeping trees free of dead, dying, or broken branches enhances safety as well. Also maintaining these trees by keeping them healthy and free of diseases, insects, or other issues that can weaken their structure is also important so when storms roll through they don’t become hazardous.
5. Plants to Avoid on School Landscapes
When choosing plants for your school landscape, there are some you’ll want to avoid -- anything considered toxic or that has particularly prickly features.
For instance, while roses make a nice touch in the landscape, their thorns make them a less-than-ideal option for an educational facility with children whose tiny hands can get pricked.
Also, pollinator friendly plants are important in any landscape. But on a school site, keeping those areas away from kids play zones is a considerate organizational element of landscape designs for schools.
6. Water Management
Standing water is never a good thing to repetitively see on a landscape.
Not only can excess water signal a drainage problem on your site, but it leads to wet slippery feet and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Have your commercial maintenance professional provide drainage solutions and take care of standing water on your site as a part of school landscape ideas that keep everyone on the property safer.
We Can Help You Create a Safer School Landscape
A commercial landscape professional’s approach to your educational facility landscaping plays a significant role in meeting your safety and security challenges.
So making sure your kid-friendly landscaping ideas come together in a way that maximizes their outdoor play and learning, while keeping them safe, is important to everyone involved -- parents, students, teachers, and you.
But who has the time to research all of the best options so you aren’t missing anything? There are other things on your school operations plate.
As an experienced child friendly landscaping services provider, Turfscape can assist you by offering a customized, proactive school grounds maintenance program.
Want a safer and more attractive and useful school landscape in Northeast Ohio? Get started today with a free quote. We’ll review your options together so you can make the best choice for your facility.