Rural Sociology Department
parks and recreation costs, sharing parks, sharing recreation facilities
As vacation travel costs increase, people will look for substitute recreation in their home communities. This will create a demand for facilities and services that the tax income of the community will not cover, particularly in rural areas and small towns. Perhaps such communities should investigate the possibility of using school faciliites for recreation and park purpose. Cooperation between school boards and municipalities can supply facilities neither agency along can afford. It can also eliminate costly duplication of facilities and services. About half of the sports and recreation facilities in this country are under the jurisdiction of tax supported schools, but they are open less than half the hours each day and half the day each year. There is a growing recognition of the public’s rights to use the schools at times that do not interfere with normal school programs. Important procedures in developing recreation programs and in establishing joint cooperation between school and recreation park officials are as follows: 1. Establish a joint committee that includes members of the school board, city council, recreation and parks authority, as well as the superintendent of schools, director of parks and recreation, city manager, and the planning director. 2. Hold periodic conferences between city and school officials, both at the policy and administrative levels. 3. Establish a written contract that spells out how the facilities of the agencies involved can be used cooperatively.2
Agricultural Experiment Station, South Dakota State University
Bateman, A. J., "Guidelines for Sharing Recreation and Park Facilities and their Costs" (1982). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 265.