A large part of the beauty and function of a playground is the fact that it is a clean, safe place for children to play. This oasis of safety is breached when cigarettes enter the playground. The abundance of cigarette butts found in playgrounds around the country is increasing, a disturbing fact. The problem is twofold: second-hand smoke is known to be harmful, and when the cigarettes are thrown on the floor rather than put out in ashtrays children end up having access to them.
Forsyth Park, in Savanahh, Georgia, is victim to countless cigarette butts littering playground flooring. Rubber mulch is excellent for children, but the dirty cigarette butts get mixed in with the mulch, contaminating it with smoke and germs. Different cities have varying laws in regards to smoking in playgrounds. Smoking is allowed in Forsyth Park, but smokers may not light up within ten feet of an outdoor playground. There are obviously many people breaking the law because the mulch is littered with cigarette butts. It is possible that some cigarettes are blown in with leaf blowers and wind.
In order to rectify the situation the city must completely remulch the park. Rubber mulch flooring is the safest playground flooring available, and Playsafer mulch has been approved by the ASPCA. However, remulching requires tax dollars that would otherwise be put to good use. Those who shop rubber mulch can find great deals when purchasing bulk rubber mulch, but the expense is still one that can easily be prevented by smokers abiding by the rules.
Many cities and communities are considering banning smoking in or near parks altogether. In fact, the skateboard park in Warwick’s Veterans Memorial Park already is a tobacco-free zone and trustee Bill Lindberg recently announced that he is looking into expanding that ban.
Many cities spend hard-earned tax dollars on playground mulch in order to keep children safe, and smokers who contaminate the mulch work to reverse all the safety that the mulch enforces.
As summer heats up there’s no better way to occupy the kids than to visit America’s coolest playgrounds. Many commercial playgrounds being built today feature rubber mulch flooring and rubber wearmats as staples in their equipment, because the mulch has been proven to provide added safety measures that go unmatched. Ranging across the United States, these incredible playgrounds offer an extra something that will keep the kids healthy and happy for hours of play.
MonstroCity – City Museum
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the MonstroCity playground is part of the St. Louis City Museum, and is, in the words of the museum, “a captivating collision of old and new, architectural castoffs and post-apocalyptic chaos, MonstroCity is at once interactive sculpture and playground. Comprised of wrought iron slinkies, fire trucks, stone turrets, airplane fuselages, slides of all sizes and shapes, and a pair of ball pits modeled after the Thunderdome, MonstroCity inspires a child-like sense of bravado in guests of all ages.” It also boasts a large patio right in the middle of all the action where guests can survey the bedlam and admire the architecture.
Aside for the classic beach resorts and breathtaking views, Hawaii is home to Kamakana Playground, every child’s dream. It boasts a zip line, model train and ship, climbing structures, and incredible views of the surrounding ocean. For the intellectually inclined the park even offers chess tables built into lava rock, in keeping with the park’s aesthetics. Playground rubber mulch also works with the design of any park, with a variety of color options.
Yerba Buena Gardens
A large part of the novelty of Yerba Buena Gardens is its location, at the top of Moscone Convention Center in downtown San Francisco. The playground is made up entirely of spongy rubber mulch flooring that is extremely tactile and susceptible to kids bouncing around. It features a twenty-five foot slide that lands in the pit of rubber mulch, and is designed in a variety of bright colors that appeal to children’s every sense.
New York City Hall of Science Playground
The Hall of Science Playground in Queens, New York City is home to the biggest playground in the country. In keeping the museum’s mission, the playground helps kids explore and learn about light, sound, and mechanics, while having a blast on a never-ending array of playground equipment.
There is no better way for children to learn about their environment than through self-exploration on the playground, and the safest playgrounds have rubber mulch flooring.
The advent of summer always comes with long days of blissful boredom and days at the beach. For many parents, however, summer also comes with the headache of figuring out what to do with the kids during the long hours of boredom that plague them. Clubs and day camps are good, but they only make up for a small part of the day. A great way to give the kids a good time is by taking them to the amusement park. While this may seem like a hassle and conspicuous consumption, when done correctly this isn’t the case.
If you know you have a whole summer ahead of you, purchase season tickets to a theme park or amusement park that is close to home. This lowers the cost significantly. How? Let’s take a prominent theme park as an example; Six Flags Great Adventures charges an average of sixty dollars for season passes. If you make it a once a week trip, bringing sandwiches and keeping the kids happy all day, you visit the park an average of eight times, totaling less than ten dollars per child for a full day of keeping them occupied. This is a bargain; just a trip to Michael’s to get some crafts can quickly add up, costing twenty dollars per child. A large park like Six Flags also offers lots of fun and excitement to keep the kids busy all summer long, and carpooling with friends is also a great way to minimize transportation time.
Aside for being a great way to keep the kids busy, some amusement and theme parks feature rubber mulch playground flooring, which is an extra safety measure, and helps educate kids about the importance of going green. In fact, Six Flags just announced that for the next three years they will be encouraging the safety and eco-friendly aspect of rubber mulch by encouraging patrons to scan barcodes at mulch scanning areas in order to receive a coupon for mulch at Lowe’s.
As the world’s largest regional theme park company, the move by Six Flags to promote playground mulch says a lot about its importance in playgrounds, theme parks, landscaping, and for many other uses.
…And Kentucky wins! Coach John Callipari has led his team to victory with a future NBA star in Anthony Davis leading the way for Kentucky. When March Madness is over it heralds the arrival of America’s favorite pastime; baseball. Many look forward to Sunday afternoons in the park eating hot dogs and beer while cheering on their teams. There is, however, one part of the game that many miss, thinking it insignificant. This is the pre-game stretches and workout sessions, in training rooms that are equipped with rubber flooring.
Every Major League ballplayer will tell you that these stretches are of utmost importance; no player wants to jump for a high fly ball and overextend their body, resulting in injury. The importance of stretching and loosening up before the game can provide a valuable lesson for children of all ages – that health and keeping one’s body in shape comes before everything else.
Every MLB team has a state of the art workout room where the players get in shape, and of utmost importance to the players is that this workout room should be covered in rubber flooring. As funny as it sounds, rubber plays a big part in baseball. From the rubber soled sneakers and cleats that provide a rock solid grip when stealing bases and chasing errant ground balls, to the flooring in gyms, rubber enhances the players’ ability to achieve greater success. The importance in the type of flooring is evident in the differences players find when playing on grass or artificial turf. Different surfaces have varied characteristics, and rubber is the gold standard.
One way that Rubberecycle rubber mulch flooring is different from its rubber counterparts is that it is recycled, another great point to make in children’s education. Children may recognize the rubber used in baseball as a close cousin of the rubber in playgrounds because both work toward the same goal; better safety while having fun. Next time you’re at the ballpark come early to watch the players stretch, and stress the importance of their actions to your children in the hope that one day they will follow suit.
Playgrounds today are becoming more and more sophisticated, with carefully planned designs and themes, extreme safety measures, making rubber mulch flooring a standard, and playground equipment that is meant to stimulate young minds and bodies. Some cities across the U.S. take this phenomenon to a whole new level, with playgrounds that are appealing and unbelievable!
Located in McLean, Virginia, Clemyjontri Park is built with a rainbow of colors that make a splash. The motto of the park is “Where every child can play,” and this is the case, with equipment that is wheelchair accessible and allows disabled and healthy children to play side by side. Some ways in which this is achieved is with ramps connecting structures, swings with high backs, arm rests, and other safety features, rubber mulch surfacing that allows wheelchairs to roll easily, and other accommodations. The park also boasts a wide variety of activities and equipment that teaches reading, time-telling, and balance skills.
The Geometry Playground
This playground is more of an exhibit than a playground, as it is part of San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum, and it travels between cities. The Geometry Playground is built with geometrical factors that stretch limbs as well as minds. The playground is currently at the Don Harrington Discovery Center in Amarillo, Texas. It has inspired a Geometric structure that is being installed in the playground of a San Francisco school.
Located in Berkeley, California, the Adventure Playground is not finished. That’s right, kids who visit are armed with hammers, nails, and ropes, and are instructed in how to build their own structures. There’s nothing like swinging on a zip-line that you made yourself, and the Adventure Playground gives kids the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Powell Barnett Park
This park in Seattle, WA was named for a local community hero, and is as impressive as its name. It features amenities such as a wading pool, Frisbee field, and mini castles, equipped with turrets and all. It even offers elaborate climbing structures and a tricycle maze! The Powell Barnett Park is the park for the kid who has it all and has seen it all.
Philadelphia is a city of history, and nothing says it like Franklin Square, a conglomeration of old and new. Located in Philadelphia’s Historic District, Franklin Square is one of the five original squares planned for the city by William Penn. It features a nod to its heritage with a beautiful carousel, mini-golf course, and a shaded play area, as well as high tech new playground equipment and rubber mulch flooring. It’s the perfect place for kids to learn about the past while having fun.
Each year more than 500,000 children are taken to the emergency room as a result of an accident or fall on the playground. Nearly 70 percent of these injuries are the result of falls, rather than equipment-related. Rubberecycle mulch company, the manufacturer of Playsafer Rubber Mulch, provides tips to parents to keep kids happy and safe while playing in playgrounds during the spring and summer months.
Rubberecycle recognizes findings from a study that again confirms the safety of using recycled rubber for athletic fields and playgrounds. The study looked at children and adults and found no elevated health risks. The announcement from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) validates findings from separate studies conducted by five other agencies and that of playground rubber mulch.
The two-year study by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) looked at fields containing crumb rubber infill, which is recycled rubber. The study was a joint effort between four state agencies – the University of Connecticut Health Center, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In addition nine scientists from the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) reviewed the study.
Recycled rubber is also a safe choice for playgrounds and the same recycled rubber surface used by Little League teams. It has been recommended by those who treat children for playground falls – one of the most common injuries (see this video about playground safety).
“Recycled rubber has been again studied and found to be safe for our children. Rubberecycle notes that this is the surface the Obamas chose to use on the White House playground. Rubberecycle playground mulch is not only sound for environmental reasons but it protects kids from dangerous falls,” said Keith Sacks, Vice President of RubbeRecycle.
Other agencies to report similar findings of the Connecticut study include: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health, the New York City Department of Health, and the California EPA.
Rubberecycle gained national fame in 2009, when the company installed Playsafer rubber mulch on the White House’s first playground. After Barbara Tulipane and Rich Dolesh of The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) contacted the White House to emphasize playground safety, staff representatives of the Obama administration contacted Rubberecycle. The company installed the playgrounds surfacing, complete with rubber curbs and wear mats.
“Playsafer Rubber Mulch absorbs more shock impact than any other playground surface material. This is particularly important because more than 550,000 kids end up in the emergency room every year with serious playground injuries. Playsafer Rubber Mulch prevents broken bones and other problems that you get with other safety surfaces,” said Sacks.
The playground surface is the safest product on the market today. This playground surface was made from 1,400 used tires which make it environmentally friendly. It’s a popular safety surface for schools, municipalities, and daycare centers.
Dr. Sommerer states,
As the Safety Director and a doctor, he was concerned. “I see plenty of bone injuries in my practice and felt that we needed a better playground surfacing solution for our kids. We decided that wood fiber was no longer a safe or environmentally sound choice for our children. We chose to use “Playsafer” rubber mulch manufactured by Rubberecycle. I immediately noticed a difference. The surface is unbelievably soft and dry! I feel comfortable knowing that our children are much safer while playing on the tot lot. I see plenty of bone injuries in my practice. We needed a better solution. Wood fiber was no longer a safe or environmentally sound choice for our children.
In over 40 years of EPA oversight and OSHA regulated manufacturing, there has never been an instance of illness attributed recycled rubber on playgrounds or its use for synthetic turf. Instead, recycled rubber is a sound environmental solution. Rubberecycle processes between 10,000 and 12,000 tires a day and is designed to handle 2 million scrap tires annually, so it is part of the solution.
The Connecticut study can be viewed at ct.gov/dep/artificialturf
Rubberecycle introduced top quality rubber surfacing products to the commercial, residential and military markets in 1998. Their playground mulch conforms to all CPSC, ASTM, and IPEMA (The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) safety guidelines and is ADA approved. The pioneer in the tire recycling industry, Rubberecycle utilizes the most advanced technology and equipment to recycle tires on site. The resulting playground surfacing is low maintenance, safe for children and comes with a lifetime warranty and is a fantastic “Green Solution” for the safety of our children.
Rubber tires are sturdy and designed to last for years. However, the benefits of vulcanized tires morph into major environmental problems and potential health risks as the tires wear out.
Tire stockpiles provide homes for pests such as mice, rats, snakes and mosquitoes. They are also are a potential fire hazard and can contaminate surface water run-off. In some states, used tires are banned from landfills as they do not decompose for years, and displace landfill covers by rising to the surface. Junk yards and backyards filled with useless old tires are unsightly and dangerous.
Yet, the burning of surplus tires is a serious air pollution hazard. So what is the solution?
Rubberecycle has the perfect answer: The transformation of old tires into useful products through recycling. In consideration of the environment and its state of cleanliness, Rubberecycle has solved the tire problem. Ugly, hazardous tire stockpiles of the past turn into fun and accident-reducing Playsafer playground mulch for the present and future!
Playsafer is the tire recycling solution!
The problem of excess tires is one that has been discussed and rehashed an infinite number of times by an unending parade of pundits. More fascinating, however, is the incredible amount of ingenuity that old tires have managed to elicit from dedicated conservationists.
Even if damaged, old tires can be repaired by several methods, including regrooving and retreading. Though the tires of cars can usually be retreaded once only, truck and bus tires may be retreaded as many as six times!
Secondary reuse of whole tires is equally important, due to their shape, weight, form or volume. In Western countries, tires are used for erosion control, as tree guards, in artificial reefs, fences, or as garden decoration. Old tires can be found lining wells, acting as shock absorbers at docks, as crash barriers and as swings.
The assortment of products made from reclaimed tires and inner tubes is amazing. Tire rubber is a comparatively simple material to transform by hand. It can be worked with common tools such as shears, knives, tongs, and hammers found in a recycling workshop, together with improvised utensils. Shoes, sandals, pails, doormats, water containers, pots, garbage cans, and bicycles pedals are among the many useful items produced from recycled tire rubber.
We at Rubberecycle salute all of the world’s conservationists, whether they choose to recycle their tires into wheels for donkey wagons, tire swings, or even shoes. And the world’s conservationists continue to salute our innovative efforts at tire recycling. From playground and landscape mulch to equestrian footing and military backstops, Rubberecycle is at the forefront of America’s recycled rubber industry.
It comes as no surprise that even the White House selected Rubberecycle’s groundbreaking Playsafer Rubber Mulch as the playground surfacing of choice. Like Rubberecycle, the Obama administration salutes all dedicated efforts at tire recycling!