Skip to content

Top 7 Advantages of Adding Shade Structures to Outdoor Areas

Home | Guide, Blog | Top 7 Advantages of Adding Shade Structures to Outdoor Areas

Here are the top 7 advantages of adding shade structures to outdoor areas.

Shade structures are great ways to bring shade to outdoor areas, like public parks. These permanent fixtures allow you to bring comfortable shade to spaces where natural shade is less available. With several benefits, types and customization options, park designers can use shade structures to create enjoyable park fixtures and experiences.

Read the full article or jump to a specific section:

The Importance of Shade in Parks and Public Areas

Public parks and outdoor spaces are essential gathering points for many communities. Parks allow many people to come together, from friends and families having picnics and playing games to corporate companies hosting parties to weddings and birthday parties. Parks let kids meet and play with other kids in their community while parents, caregivers and adults can socialize.

Benefits of Public Parks

As accessible spaces for all community members across ages and backgrounds, they serve as critical spaces where everyone can get outside. In many communities, public parks are integral figures in maintaining community health.

Proximity to parks can encourage adults to get outside and exercise.

Proximity to parks can encourage adults to get outside and exercise, promoting better health. Parks often include playgrounds or other spaces targeted toward kids, supporting healthy habits and physical activity from a young age.

Physical activity can help boost mental health. They are also vital social spaces that can help decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness by connecting individuals with their community. Many parks host events to promote community bonding and belonging, but people can make meaningful connections every day in public parks.

While parks impact individuals, they can also help protect the environment. Parks provide spaces for local ecosystems and species to thrive. Parks with lots of trees can help improve air quality and reduce runoff — urban parks can remove over seven million tons of air toxins through their trees.

Parks require maintenance and care, and many parks have services, centers and other facilities that need employees. Implementing a park in communities can help open opportunities for more jobs. Parks may also increase property values in neighborhoods and attract more businesses to the area, boosting community benefits outside of the park’s boundaries.

What Can Shade Add to Public Parks?

While public parks and other open spaces can offer several benefits and opportunities for local communities, you can boost these benefits by creating shaded areas. Shade allows you to increase park enjoyment and utilization, creating spaces where community members are comfortable.

Shaded areas have many functions and applications at parks. Families and friends can go for picnics, while others can play games and play in the cooler space. These zones can provide many people with the outdoor experience they are looking for, encouraging them to further explore the park and find the perfect shady spot.

Commercial shade structures benefit business and community members; here are 7 other benefits.

7 Benefits of Commerical Shade Structures

Many people seek shaded areas at parks to spend their time outdoors, but not all parks have abundant natural shade in open areas, even if they have many trees. Shaded structures let you provide comfortable shaded areas to park visitors while benefiting business and community members.

1. Increasing Park Comfort

The shade can create comfortable spaces where people can play, socialize or relax outdoors. Shade structures can increase comfort at your park by expanding shaded areas beyond where trees and facilities might cast shadows.

Shade structures add comfort on a warm day by bringing down the temperature and making it more tolerable for visitors. Cooler shaded areas can be significant for people at higher risk of heat exhaustion and sunburns, like children and older adults. When you provide ample shade at your park through shade structures, you help protect all your guests and increase their comfort.

Fabric shade structures like those at USA SHADE offer increased protection. Our fabric shade structures let the air flow through the fabric, so your visitors will continue enjoying the breeze while under the shade. Creating around 95% shade, they can make cool areas out of the direct sunlight where everyone can spend time outdoors.

These shade structures also provide 97% UV ray protection, keeping the sun out of guests’ eyes. Instead of raising their hands or moving to avoid the sun, they can focus on spending time with their family or friends and enjoy the park facilities you offer.

2. Following Park Aesthetic

Shade structures can do more than provide shade — they also add to your park’s visual appeal. Shade structures are incredibly customizable, coming in various designs, colors and materials, allowing you to find the design that perfectly fits your park’s aesthetic. You can create a design that fits a specific mood or setting, helping bring that style to the park’s space.

Many shade structures add to park themes. For example, if you want to shade a playground, you can find shade structures that create more whimsical and imaginative environments. They can resemble sails or trees to spark pretend play and creativity in children. Many playgrounds have bright color schemes, and you can select a shade structure that fits with the fun color set you already have.

Shade structures are helpful when you want a shade solution for existing systems and features. Installing shade structures is more cost-efficient than renovating and landscaping entire areas to accommodate more shade. Shade structures can match existing infrastructure and facilities, fitting seamlessly into spaces while providing quality shade for your visitors.

3. Applying to Many Spaces

You can use a shade structure in a park's open spaces, picnic or eating grounds, playgrounds, and pools.

You can fit shade structures into many parks and public spaces to meet several applications. Some areas you can integrate shade structures at your park include:

  • Open spaces: Shade structures are great additions to open spaces where there might be little to no natural shade. Shade structures increase comfort in these areas while leaving the space open and ambiguous, encouraging park visitors to determine how they want to interact with the space.
  • Picnic and eating grounds: People want to relax while eating their food and enjoying time with loved ones. Shade structures allow you to provide cool spaces where people can eat and relax, making it ideal for people to gather during mealtimes and throughout the day.
  • Playgrounds: Shade structures create valuable shade where kids can rest or play in cooler areas while getting vital physical activity and outdoor time. On the other hand, shade structures can give caregivers a space to keep an eye on the kids while staying out of the sun and relaxing.
  • Poolsides: Some parks have water features, like play fountains or pools, where kids and adults can enjoy the water on warmer days. Shade structures can offer people spaces to relax by the water and escape the sun.
  • Parking lots: Help protect your visitors’ cars by adding shade structures to your parking lots. You can help cool down cars while people visit the park, giving them a more comfortable experience when returning to their vehicle or leaving. Some shade structures may also offer weather protection and help keep cars safer during rain or snow.


With so many unique applications, you can install shade structures in several spaces in your parks for increased comfort and enjoyability for your guests to encourage them to stay even longer and explore all your park has to offer. Because they are so customizable, you can add shade structures to all your park’s features while enhancing its established aesthetic.

4. Protecting Park Equipment

Shade structures are durable, reliable fixtures that will last for years. They can also help lengthen the lifespan of your other park equipment. Because shade structures block the sun and some precipitation, they are great for keeping your visitors comfortable, and they can also help keep your equipment in excellent condition.

Shade structures may help keep the sun from damaging various types of equipment, from benches and picnic tables to larger pieces like playground fixtures. Shade can protect equipment from premature fading over time, keeping the quality strong and appearance looking brand new for years to come. Since shade structures are so reliable and durable, you can count on them to withstand the elements while sheltering existing equipment.

5. Providing Weather Protection

While people will flock to your park on the nice days, people may still be present when the weather changes. Rain and snow can deter people from attending your park or cause them to leave before they’re ready, but shade structures can help block some of the precipitation while they wait it out.

USA Shade's fabric shade structures block 60-70% of precipitation.

USA SHADE’s fabric shade structures block 60 to 70% of precipitation, providing park visitors with temporary protection if it starts to rain or snow while they’re enjoying the facilities. These features can improve visitor satisfaction because they know they have a place to wait if it might rain while they’re at your park.

6. Increasing Return on Investment

Shade structures are an investment. Their durability and reliability let them serve for the entirety of their lifespan, but they also offer opportunities to raise their return on investment (ROI). They allow you to save money by adding fixtures to existing facilities and spaces without expensive remodels or landscaping.

Shade structures can transform spaces and make them more visually appealing, attracting people looking for special event venues. You can target shaded areas to specific groups, like birthday parties and weddings, and charge rental fees for the event times, allowing you to earn some money from the atmosphere and comfort the shade structures provide.

You can also use the shade to create spaces for events like concerts, fairs and festivals, where you can charge admission for entry. You can host quality cultural events for your community, and you might even attract outside attention and draw tourists to your park to participate in the events you have planned.

7. Helping Your Park Stand Out

While shade structures can fit into the theme and aesthetic you already have, they can also create unique park fixtures that visitors can only find at your park. Shade structures are incredibly customizable, so you can find something that matches the visual features you already have while developing visual elements that will draw people to your park.

Striking visual park features can create a staple in your park that keeps regulars coming back and attracts tourists. When people travel to new places, they want to visit, experience and photograph things they can’t find at home. With original shade structures, you can offer them a new park experience.

Unique visual structures like this shade structure can offer beautiful aesthetic features.

Unique visual structures like shade structures can offer particular and beautiful aesthetic features. Use these features to create specific content for your advertising presence and bring more people to your park. Many people document their daily adventures and vacations on social media, tagging the locations of where they are or the organization associated with the park or event. You can use this content to develop your online presence and highlight your park’s exciting and aesthetic fixtures.

Types of Commercial Shade Structures for Parks

One of the advantages of shade structures is their flexible design and customization features. Shade structures provide an intense shade solution while adding to your park’s aesthetic. Different shade structure types further add to their function while offering other looks you can choose from.

USA SHADE offers several types of shade structures, including specialty and custom designs, so you can always find the perfect shade structure for your outdoor area or park.

Cantilever Shade Structures

Cantilever or hanging cantilever shade structures maximize shade coverage and space.

Cantilever or hanging cantilever shade structures are excellent options to maximize shade coverage and space. These shade structures use minimal structural support with limited columns, creating more space underneath. Because of the optimized space, they work great for open spaces, encouraging people to gather and spread out under the provided shade. The minimized columns make them perfect for shading parking lots.

They are customizable and function in many spaces, including within parks. You can find many style options, from hip to wing, and custom sizing is available to cater to specific areas, further optimizing its shading capabilities.

Hip Shade Structures

Hip shade structures incorporate several columns for increased stability, making them great for larger areas. The straight fabric roofline works in many spaces, and you can customize colors for increased aesthetic appeal. Choose from several styles to increase coverage, including joined and super span.

Because of the size range, hip designs are perfect shade structures for parks. You can set them up over picnic tables, playgrounds, poolsides and other open spaces for comprehensive shade coverage. By joining them together, you can use them for larger spaces, ensuring everyone has access to shade when using this shade structure type.

Multi-Panel Shade Structures

Multi-panel or multi-sided shade structures are ideal for optimizing the visual appeal of an area.

Multi-panel or multi-sided shade structures are ideal for when you want to optimize the visual appeal in an area. They incorporate multiple fabrics together to create unique designs that provide excellent shade protection. Mix and match fabric colors for customized looks that people can only find at your park. They come in various configurations and shapes for increased customization, including pyramid, hexagon and octagon.

Shade Sails Shade Structures

For another type of shade structure with a unique, aesthetically appealing look, consider shade sails. This type uses stretched fabrics tensioned and attached at customized angles to create curved shapes resembling a ship’s sails. You can place several together for a whimsical look with maximized shade coverage — mix and match three-point, four-point and five-point sails together to diversify your design.

With so much customization and shape coverage, these shade structures are excellent for open spaces at parks, from picnic areas and open-air venues to pools and playgrounds. If you are looking for a striking visual design you can make your own, these shade structures are perfect.

Specialty Shade Structures

Our specialty shade structures include Sahara, Orion, Aquarius, and Arbor.

Shade structures are highly functional fixtures, providing sun and heat protection to your park guests. If you want to prioritize the visual appeal, specialty shade structures offer unique shade solutions for your park while providing excellent functionality. Quality style features are essential for your park, especially when drawing new visitors in. Some of our specialty shade structures include:

  • Sahara: The Sahara is a four-column hip design with a unique fabric shape perfect for parks. It is spacious and stable, and the design is eye-catching, intriguing guests and inviting them to rest in the shade.
  • Aquarius: With two columns and a twisted fabric shade, the Aquarius offers an elegant design that you can apply to several spaces within your park. The Aquarius is open and spacious, creating a welcoming shaded area where park visitors can gather.
  • Orion: Like the Aquarius, the Orion offers another sleek curved look. The two columns make it accessible for all park visitors and spacious underneath, allowing for an open shaded environment you can establish across your park.
  • Arbor: Consider the Arbor design to highlight the nature around your park while providing excellent shade coverage. We designed this shade structure to mimic a tree with four arms and tensioned fabric. This shade structure is ideal for emphasizing the natural elements present at your park or for a specific playground theme.

We offer many unique specialty shade structures that can provide beautiful shade features at your park. If you like the Arbor design, we have flower and butterfly designs, each mimicking their respective namesakes. You can choose the color of the butterflies and flowers and the orientation of the petals or wings. These designs are great for playgrounds or other themed areas of your park where you want to use shade structures to add to a theme.

Custom Shade Structures

If you have specific needs or vision in mind when shading your park, consider custom shade structures. Our custom designs allow you to develop a unique design that will become a staple for your park. Work with our in-house engineers and designers to create a shade structure that fits your desired space, attracts attention and provides the best shade available.

Request a quote and start building your commercial shade structure.

Work With USA SHADE to Build Your Commercial Shade Structures

Parks are essential outdoor areas that can benefit communities and individuals alike. Park designers and parks and recreation departments can further park benefits by increasing the number of shaded regions with shade structures. Adding these park fixtures can offer several benefits, from creating spaces where visitors can be comfortable to lengthening the lifespan of your existing equipment.

USA SHADE offers unique, customized designs that fit seamlessly into your park and its aesthetic. We work with you to match you with the right fixtures or customized shade structures, so you can find the shade solution that will add to your park while providing quality shade. USA SHADE structures provide comprehensive protection, from lowering the heat to helping shelter people from adverse weather.

Request a quote today and discover how USA SHADE can transform your park with shade.