A Quick and Complete Guide To Park Maintenance

If you’re in the business of park maintenance, you are likely passionate about the role parks play in our society. They provide safe spaces for kids, gathering places for our communities, access to nature for citizens of any ability, and generally improve quality of life.

Reliable park maintenance is essential regardless of your park’s type, size, or location. Follow these basics to preserve this vital community resource. 

What is park maintenance? 

Park maintenance involves keeping parks and other public recreation spaces clean, safe, and functional. This could include activities like mowing, planting, and pruning, as well as cleaning and general repair of park infrastructures such as roads, buildings, and playgrounds.

The presence of a well-maintained park can boost the perceived desirability and value of a neighborhood, especially for young families.

Park maintenance activities


Most parks have some landscaping and natural areas that need to be maintained. These activities will vary by the season but generally include:

  • Mowing
  • Watering
  • Fertilizing
  • Planting, trimming, pruning, and weeding
  • Trail maintenance


All public spaces need to be kept clean. Depending on the type of infrastructure at your park, cleaning activities will range from removing garbage and litter to regular bathroom cleanings and restocking supplies. 

Removal of graffiti and other signs of vandalism is also a common need in public spaces. Not only does cleaning improve citizens’ experience of a park, but it also ensures safety.

General infrastructure maintenance

Most parks have some form of infrastructure in buildings or equipment. Repair of broken amenities such as playground equipment, picnic tables, shelter structures, and other park facilities are nearly universal maintenance tasks.

Maintenance of athletic fields will also be a priority for parks with seasonal sports facilities


It is crucial for park maintenance activities to enable park security. Aside from ensuring the cleanliness and proper functioning of the park, installation and maintenance of signage and surveillance equipment are also part of regular operating procedures. 

In addition, when security issues do arise, park maintenance staff must also collaborate with local authorities.

Building Maintenance Checklist

Use this helpful template as a starting point for your building maintenance program.

Common park infrastructure

Most public parks have a set of standard features, and each will require its own maintenance tasks.

Hiking, fitness, and nature trails

Ask any jogger about their favorite places to run and parks will inevitably be on their list. Trails and walking paths are some of the most used park features. Common maintenance tasks include:

  • Cutting undergrowth or clearing after a storm to keep paths clear
  • Maintenance of maps and other trail signage
  • Lighting maintenance on lighted trails, entrances, and exits 

Sports fields and courts

The exact list of maintenance activities and their frequency will vary depending on the type of athletic fields. But sports facilities are typically host to the largest number of patrons at once than most other facilities. 

The most common maintenance tasks include:

  • Sweeping, trash, and litter collection
  • Replacement of burnt light bulbs
  • Lawn irrigation
  • Mowing and painting grass
  • Pest control
  • Fertilizer application

Restrooms, picnic pavilions, and other buildings

Bigger parks will always feature some on-premise infrastructure and equipment that needs to be maintained and repaired.   

Common maintenance tasks include:

  • Sweeping, trash removal, litter collection 
  • Plumbing repairs
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Replacement of burnt light bulbs, electric fittings, sockets, etc.
  • Replacement of supplies, hand sanitizers, soap, etc.

Those that want an A+, check out our guides on building maintenance and equipment maintenance


What is a park without a playground? A missed opportunity, that’s what. 

Playgrounds are not only used by the littlest and most trusting of our community members, but they are also constantly exposed to the elements, causing wear and tear. Staying on top of playground maintenance helps keep families and their kids safe. 

Common maintenance tasks include: 

  • Sweeping, trash removal, litter collection 
  • Wiping and disinfection of play equipment
  • Repainting, polishing, and repair of play equipment

Parking lots

The parking lot is usually the first area that visitors see when approaching a park. It is also one of the locations where accessibility is a major consideration. 

Common maintenance tasks include:

  • sweeping 
  • trash and litter collection  
  • general cleaning
  • sealcoating 
  • paving 
  • striping 

For more information, take a look at our dedicated parking lot maintenance guide.

Maintenance equipment

You can’t perform all this park maintenance without the appropriate equipment. 

Mowers, trimmers, and other tools must be maintained in order for you and your team to be able to do your job effectively. 

Don’t forget to dedicate time to maintaining the tools of the trade. 

Park maintenance best practices

Regardless of the size and structure of your park system, national parks, state parks, even city parks need to be maintained regularly in order to perform their function. 

Here are some best practices for your parks and recreation maintenance team to follow.

Prioritize security

Although you and your team provide an important public service, a visitor’s experience can turn unpleasant very quickly if a car is stolen or broken into. Just like with any other facility maintenance, you can deter potential thieves by installing security cameras in strategic locations around the park. 

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Some basic security cameras and signs short notices like the one below, pasted all over the park, are a great start if an onsite security presence isn’t in the cards. 

CCTV in Operation

Follow landscaping best practices

Landscape maintenance provides well-maintained open spaces and plants, and these are a major attraction at parks. 

Park maintenance workers plant shrubs and flowers, mow grass, prune trees, and provide pesticide and fertilization services. They also maintain and manage the sprinkler and irrigation systems.

We talk in-depth about many of those activities in our golf course maintenance and grounds maintenance guides.

Perform regular inspections and audits

The safety and security of children and others using your park should be the top priority. You want people to know they are safe. You also don’t want to spend time dealing with different compensation claims.

Conduct frequent field checks and safety inspections of recreation facilities, play equipment and grounds to ensure they are in good condition by checking for: 

  • Excessive equipment wear and deterioration 
  • The presence of pests, rodents, and insects
  • Highly-allergenic plants (poison ivy, poison oak…)
  • Tripping hazards
  • Shaky or loose play equipment
  • Loose or missing items (like fasteners, bolts, nuts or screws) 
  • Excessively sharp edges on play equipment
  • Metal equipment that has become excessively rusty or torn (it’s generally advisable to avoid metal play equipment altogether)

In general, whichever property or infrastructure you have to maintain, preventive maintenance should constitute the bulk of your efforts. You can design your own operating procedures, much like in more challenging asset management environments.

Types of park maintenance jobs

Park maintenance workers are often part of a larger recreation department team within the park system. This team is responsible for providing a safe and clean environment in addition to protecting the natural resources of the park. 

At public parks, hiring maintenance workers usually falls under the jurisdiction of the council or county authorities. Federal park workers are hired through the National Park Service.

So, what kind of maintenance staff can you find working in parks and what exactly is in their job description?


Janitors handle the cleaning of all amenities in the park buildings, picnic shelters, restrooms, and other park facilities. In smaller parks with a smaller workforce, janitorial staff will also handle routine maintenance tasks like the replacement of burnt light bulbs.

Gardeners and landscape professionals

Landscape professionals attend to the park’s vegetation. They remove diseased flowers and shrubs, recommend and plant new ones, mow lawns, remove weeds, and clear leaves and debris. 

As part of their duties, they’ll manage irrigation systems and apply fertilizers to plants in addition to maintaining fencing and signages. 

Since they are responsible for handling fertilizers and pesticides, they are required by federal law to have a pesticide applicator license.

Maintenance technicians

Maintenance technicians are skilled workers that perform hands-on maintenance for park infrastructure like pump and plumbing systems, electrical fittings, and HVAC systems. 

They are often involved with repairing and servicing equipment and tools used by landscape professionals. This includes, but is not limited to, lawnmowers, irrigation sprinklers, and pesticide spraying equipment.

Maintenance supervisors

Maintenance supervisors coordinate and oversee the staff, They plan and schedule park maintenance, organize resources like tools and parts needed for park maintenance, and enforce compliance with park rules and regulations. 

They are usually actively involved in the hiring and onboarding process for other maintenance workers.

Maintenance software to streamline park maintenance

Just like any other maintenance function, the job of a park maintenance team can be done more efficiently and effectively with the help of computerized maintenance management software (CMMS)

Limble CMMS, for example, enables park maintenance staff to create and assign work orders on the go, schedule preventive maintenance, and follow inspection checklists. 

On top of that, it helps you track your spare parts inventory and the performance of your staff and equipment.

Organizations that use Limble CMMS for park maintenance

A good CMMS will also give you an in-depth breakdown of maintenance costs — a must for publicly funded parks and facilities. 

Want to know how much you spent last month on specific parts, vendors, assets, or paid overtime? With Limble, you can generate respective reports with just a few simple clicks.

If you’re looking for maintenance software to take your park maintenance to the next level and make your daily life easier, we invite you to schedule a demo or start a free trial of Limble CMMS.

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