Warren, R., Rea, P., & Payne, S. (2007). Park and Recreation Maintenance Management

Article excerpt

Warren, R., Rea, P., & Payne, S. (2007). Park and recreation maintenance management. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing. 285 pages, $54.95, ISNB-13:978-1-57167-568-2

The book provides a comprehensive overview of park and recreation maintenance management. The authors state that the purpose of park and recreation maintenance is to keep areas and facilities in their original state or as nearly so as possible, and that maintenance management is a service function that must be planned and organized in such a way as to facilitate the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of park and recreation agencies. Furthermore, the authors contend that since maintenance costs often represent 50 percent or more of the annual operating budgets of park and recreation agencies, maintenance managers are expected to find ways to effectively and efficiently accomplish maintenance objectives and to prove the need for using agency financial resources for maintenance expenditures. The book covers a wide range of topics that maintenance managers need to consider when planning and organizing a total maintenance program. Topics discussed include maintenance principles, personnel, buildings and structures, general outdoor maintenance, grounds maintenance, maintenance equipment, and maintenance and the public.

Having used previous editions of the book as the primary textbook in a park maintenance and operations course for more than a decade, the book reviewer found that the fourth edition of the book differs significantly from previous editions. In fact, the current edition of the book constitutes a major rewrite of previous editions. Two new chapters dealing with technology in maintenance and employee safety have been added to the current edition of the book. Other chapters have undergone extensive revision to include state-of-the-art information and excellent examples of current procedures and practices used by maintenance management practitioners. For example, the chapter on managing maintenance personnel has been expanded and updated to provide information on the major aspects of human resource management, including recruitment and retention, motivation of employees, supervisory communications, personnel training, and evaluation of employee performance.

The book authors approach the topic of park and recreation maintenance from a broad management perspective. The book does not provide step-by-step descriptions of how to complete specific maintenance tasks but rather provides an overview of how maintenance managers should develop and implement a total maintenance program in the most effective and economical way possible. The chapter on building maintenance and structures provides an excellent example of how to approach park and recreation maintenance from the standpoint of management. The chapter presents information on the three major aspects of building and structure maintenance: 1) building and structure maintenance, 2) preventive maintenance, and 3) custodial or housekeeping maintenance. Different management approaches for handling each of the three aspects of building and structure maintenance are presented, and the advantages and limitations of each approach are discussed. …


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