Nature’s Calling: Why All Public Parks Need a Public Restroom

Public parks are vital shared spaces where people of all ages can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and bask in the great outdoors. Whether it’s a corner patch of grass in the heart of downtown or an entire state park, these green havens should be accommodating, accessible, and welcoming places where every visitor feels comfortable. It’s not the first thing people think about when envisioning an ideal public park, but a suitable restroom improves these areas in several meaningful ways.

Creating a family-friendly environment.

Families flock to public parks, especially when only a handful are available in a city. More than most, small children and elderly people struggle to spend extended periods in one place without access to restrooms. Equipping public parks with proper facilities makes the space more family-friendly, ensuring all members of society — from toddlers to retirees — can partake comfortably.

Limiting human impact on the environment.

An absence of restrooms doesn’t prevent people from relieving themselves in public parks. Nature calls no matter what. Without proper facilities, the presence of human waste diminishes the quality and attractiveness of these areas while taking an ecological toll on the natural environment. Cities can drastically reduce the human impact on these local habitats by installing sufficient public utilities including toilets and waste bins.

Promoting proper hygiene and sanitation. 

Public restrooms are the strongest line of defense against the spread of germs in public parks. Accessible facilities decrease the spread of harmful diseases and viruses emanating from human waste for both visiting humans and resident wildlife. With hand-washing stations, public restrooms can also limit the spread of more common bacteria via contaminated touch points such as door handles, playgrounds, water fountains, and more.

Improving visitor comfort and convenience.

Public parks rely on consistent use to survive either directly through entrance fees or indirectly via sustained government funding. No matter the case, cities will shut down parks that don’t generate demand. Since public restrooms are a cornerstone of visitor comfort, convenience, and enjoyment, they’re crucial for encouraging more frequent and longer visitors. This heightened use directly extends the lifespan of the park.

Lowering public spending.

Maintaining a public park is an expensive endeavor for cities. Everything from staff and utilities to grounds maintenance and utilities requires consistent investments. Keeping the space clean ends up costing more than necessary when a public toilet isn’t installed. This is a perfect example of how public restrooms can save cities money. A stark decrease in park maintenance fees leads to a more efficient use of public funds and an increased budget for more parks.

Supporting large events with increased capacity.

Park benches, picnic tables, and pavilions are all excellent ways to make a public park more accommodating for large groups, but social events will always be cut short without an adequate place to answer nature’s call. Even a single-occupancy restroom with a simple design is sufficient to drastically increase the capacity of a park to make it comfortable for gatherings such as birthday parties, bridal or baby showers, anniversaries, and graduation celebrations.

Increasing accessibility and inclusivity.

More than ever, there’s an expectation for public spaces to be accessible to all members of a community. This includes public parks. A handicap-accessible, single-use, gender-neutral bathroom can promote a more inclusive and accommodating environment where everyone feels welcomed. When everyone feels catered to, public parks become places where the whole of society is eager to visit.

Why the Portland Loo is Perfect for Parks

The Portland Loo is the perfect public restroom for public parks because of its:

  • Small footprint
  • Low energy demand
  • Single-user design
  • Handicap accessibility
  • Inclusive design
  • Durable materials
  • Sustainable features
  • External sink

If you’re interested in bringing a Loo to your city, check out these step-by-step tips. Feel free to contact us for more information too.