Repaired Park Benches!

I see that we have some repaired park benches, with new wood replacing the older splintered boards. There’s a bit of a story behind that…

Our community association co-chair had noticed that the benches were getting worn out, with splintered or rotting wood in several places. She took some photos last year in May 2017 to document it.

Worn out Bench (they all look like this). Though this one has one more recent beam in the back rest. Note the partial coverage of the back rest, which can be uncomfortable for some people. In May 2017.

Rotting end of Worn Out Bench

Picnic Table with lots of cracks in wood.
Other picnic tables with worn wood. In April 2018.

One of our residents wrote to our councillor in August, asking for better benches. They had noticed other people brought chairs to the park. Some left their Adirondack ones at the park, though they didn’t last long before breaking. The park benches were also uncomfortable (not just due to the splinters); one new mom would always bring her own chair to avoid the pain.

The newer benches at renewed parks like Fisher Park are reportedly more comfortable, probably due to the better back support. They’re also made of plastic and metal, though they do seem to need a concrete foundation. Here are a few Fisher Park benches:

Fisher Park Bench, with more complete back support.

Fisher Park Picnic Table, with wheelchair access overhang, and a concrete foundation.

In late March our resident asked the association about the benches. After a bit of online discussion and a question at a meeting, it seems that the association might be able to pay for new ones but there would be maintenance and liability problems, best handled by the city. So the recommended strategy was the squeaky wheel one.

That seemed to work, and our councillor’s office replied in April that they’d ask the city staff about it, and also look into costs for replacing them. Which brings us up to this May and a surprise at the park:

New boards on the picnic tables.

Repaired benches around the park.
Existing bench repaired with both new wood and sanding down sharp parts of old good wood.

And that’s where we sit today. Assuming it’s like pressure treated deck wood, you have to wait a while for it to dry out before painting it. Hopefully there will be a dry summer and then fresh paint.

– Alex