Protecting Parks with O&M Plans

Top 3 Reasons for a Community Parks O&M Plan


Did you know that developing an appropriate operation and maintenance (O&M) plan for your park or park system is one of the most important activities a Parks and Recreation Committee may do to strengthen recreation in a community? But, it's nobody's favorite.

Building up reserves for park resources is the key to longevity and long-term life of facilities.

Pro-rating anticipated costs to replace, repair, or amend resources in a park is paramount, but often first cut. Resources such as sidewalk repairs, planting replacement, irrigation upgrades, playground maintenance, re-roofing buildings, restroom upgrades, and lawn/turf management and maintenance are all areas where communities tend to limit allocation of resources over time, and thus sentence facilities to declining condition through deferred maintenance.

The MDNR requires a maintenance plan as part of a community recreation plan for the last 4-5 years.

If your community has plans to pursue grant dollars through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) for any upcoming community improvements, you’ll need an updated recreation plan. This will include a parks maintenance plan and budget. But, these plans are often not developed as full O&M Plans. Fully-developing a comprehensive O&M Plan is often the first step in recapturing a failing asset or growing a new one from a dream to reality.


Investing in parks and recreational facilities can boost economic impact.

Recreation polls show that communities highly value and want to spend time at parks and facilities that are well taken care of and feature unique and attractive amenities. As an offshoot benefit, nearby restaurants, shops, and other attractions see more patronage and higher sustainability. In addition, nearby residential neighborhoods have improved quality of life and increased property values.


Developing an appropriate O&M Plan can be tricky and takes careful planning and interaction with community staff, park contractors, and fiscal and financial leaders of the community to do it right. Staff at Gosling Czubak can help the parks and recreation committee and community leaders work to outline and develop a detailed budget with pro-rated costs for maintenance. For more information on this process, contact Kevin Krogulecki.


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