ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

Standards Enhance the Great Outdoors during National Park and Recreation Month

New York, Jul 19, 2013

Since 1985, the month of July has been celebrated each year as National Park and Recreation Month, encouraging U.S. citizens, residents, and tourists to take advantage of the wide variety of national, state, and local parks, outdoor spaces, and recreational facilities available across the country and to recognize the importance of supporting and protecting these essential spaces. And year-in, year-out, voluntary consensus standards are there to help provide essential support to the facilities and equipment that make being active and spending time outside so much fun.

From the vastness of New York City’s Central Park to the coziness of the neighborhood green where you walk your dog, municipal parks vary widely in size and focus. But one element common to many is the inclusion of athletic facilities and equipment, allowing members of the community to exercise and participate in group sports with their friends. A standard from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator ASTM International provides safety guidelines intended to reduce the risks associated with movable soccer goals, a common feature of many local parks. ASTM F1938-98(2009), Guide for Safer Use of Movable Soccer Goals, includes directions for the installation, use, and storage of soccer goals and is intended to be used by parks and recreation workers, among others, to reduce the risk of injury or fatalities associated with the tipping over of such goals.

During the summer, parks with pools and other water access often explode with activity, as nearby residents take advantage of these facilities to help beat the heat. ANSI/APSP 11-2009, Water Quality in Public Pools and Spas, sets down recommended specifications for chemical water treatment associated with public pools and spas, helping pool operators to keep the quality of the water used in their facilities sufficiently high. This American National Standard (ANS) was developed by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP).

While participation in sports and other physical activities are popular ways to spend time in parks, there are also less-physical options, from kite-flying to sunbathing to model rocketry. A standard developed by ANSI member and audited designator the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides public safety guidelines related to the design, construction, and reliability of model rockets and related kits. NFPA 1122-2008, NFPA 1122: Code for Model Rocketry, 2008 Edition, is intended to be used by members of the public for education and for model rocketry competitions.

But with all this outdoor activity, it’s important to remember to take precautions to ensure your own health and safety while enjoying parks and other recreational facilities. ANSI Z80.3-2010, Nonprescription Sunglass and Fashion Eyewear Requirements, provides guidance for most types of nonprescription sunglasses, as well as other types of related fashion eyewear. This ANS was developed by ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer the Vision Council.

Food carts are a common sight in many parks, with vendors selling ice cream, hot dogs, and other food items. NSF/ANSI 59-2012, Mobile Food Carts, sets down requirements for these carts and their components. Developed by NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator, the standard covers both carts where food is prepared and those where prepackaged food is sold.

However you choose to enjoy National Park and Recreation Month, standards are there to help support the many individuals working to keep parks and other outdoor facilities safe and available. For more information about National Park and Recreation Month, visit the official website here.