2020 OPA Winter Sward

Splash Pad Navigation in 2021

2020 has changed our world in the way we work and play! It will be a year that we will reflect upon with our grandchildren. Hopefully, that discussion will take place outdoors, with the sun shining brightly and in proximity to friends and family, sitting near your local splash pad. Our splash pads provide a sense of community and entertainment for all ages, so it is important to get them going where possible, and ensure patrons feel safe. Last season, there were many locations that remained closed, some that operated with limited offerings, and some that pretty much operated as normal with enhanced cleaning. Prior to the new season, work at updating your policies and procedures so you and your staff know the amount of time that will be required to implement them, what equipment will be needed, and if anything new or different may be required. Preparing for staffing needs based on these requirements is a smart way to be ready. It is also a good time to have a chat with your local health inspector and see what is required or has been updated before you open in 2021. Remember, you still have to be agile in your response over the next year, as we work our way through these unprecedented times. It won’t be long until we start to unwrap from winter and prepare for the upcoming summer of 2021. For recreation people, that means looking

at your facilities in a whole new way; how are they cleaned, how often, what equipment we will need, etc. This will all be under the public eye, who will be nervously watching and cautious for their safety for a long time to come. Building trust in your play spaces, like any other business, takes some work and transparency. Now is a good time to discuss what cleaning is, and what disinfecting is. They are different and often misunderstood. Simply stated, cleaning removes the dirt, disinfecting kills the harmful microbiology. Operations staff need to know the type of product to be used, whether it’s a cleaner or disinfectant or both, and the effect the product will give. Cleaning must always be done before disinfecting to allow the disinfectant to do its job. Some items for consideration: 1) Spacing of feature pieces - is there a way to close off certain features, if required, to create space between participants 2) Enhanced cleaning of washrooms and amenities 3) Extra customer hand sanitizing areas, if applicable 4) Adding extra tables or sitting places to allow caregivers to be socially distant 5) Adding signage to let the people using your park feature know that you are taking extra steps for cleaning and disinfecting


The Green Sward - Winter 2020

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