Are school playgrounds and recreational facilities - elementary, middle, high school - in your area open to the public during non-school hours? 

This week we visited Seattle, which has a great public parks (and public transit) system and it reminded me of my childhood spent playing on my elementary school playground with friends during the summer. Later I moved to a community where the school grounds were often closed during non-school hours. 

I’m curious about whether its common that school facilities are open or closed to the public when school is not in session. If schools are open, then are they being used to their full extent by the community. On the other hand, if they are closed then why is this? Aren’t schools funded by tax payers who should have the right to use these facilities to their full potential? 

It’s not really something I spent much time thinking about since my daughter is so young and school playgrounds tend to be designed for school age kids. But I’m very curious about it.

Just a quick Google search of the phrase “using school playground after hours” turns up some interesting results. It seems like there are many communities where school facilities are locked after hours, but there are also some interesting articles about communities that have decided to open up these areas for community use.



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