Parks and Playgrounds Law and Legal Definition

Some state statutes provide for the creation of a park district, and such a district becomes a municipality for certain purposes and is subject to legislative power as are other municipalities. The general view is that the legislature, in the absence of a constitutional provision to the contrary, has the power to control and manage parks within municipal boundaries provided that such parks were not acquired by common-law dedication. Statutory provisions frequently provide for the establishment of park boards and commissioners to administer parks in the manner prescribed by statute.

The power of eminent domain may be exercised to establish take private land for the purpose of a public park or square, and a gift in trust for the planning or improvement of public parks is usually held to be a valid charitable gift. A municipal corporation has been held to have the right to accept and administer a trust for the establishment or support of a public park or other common. Lands may also be acquired for public parks through statutory and common-law dedication.

Public authorities that have the power to establish and maintain parks, squares, or playgrounds are generally given the power, either by statutory or charter provision, to grant individuals the exclusive privilege of operating a concession on park property when the privilege is consistent with park purposes. The grant of a concession may include the right to operate refreshment and lunch stands, the right to rent boats, horses, and other items, and the right to engage in any other activity that promotes the use of the park consistent with its dedication.