Many communities lack safe, adequate places for children and their families to exercise and play. Schools might have a variety of recreational facilities, but many districts close their property to the public after school hours because of concerns about costs, vandalism, security, maintenance, and liability in the event of injury.
The good news is that city, county, and town governments can partner with school districts through what are known as joint use agreements to address these concerns. A joint use agreement is a formal agreement between two separate government entities— often a school district and a city or county— setting forth the terms and conditions for the shared use of public property.
Our toolkit, Playing Smart: Maximizing the Potential of School and Community Property through Joint Use Agreements, shares what we have learned from successful agreements, offering guidelines and templates for other communities looking to expend their access to school recreational facilities.