Today, playground designers place special emphasis on safety and aesthetics, but there is also an emerging trend for environmentally friendly play spaces. What are the traits of one?
Nestled in nature
Recent studies show that more and more kids now prefer playgrounds with natural elements over those chock-full of man-made equipment. A park that has trees for climbing, a sandbox to dig around in, a canopy of sky and clouds, and the scent of flowers is still the best kind. It echoes the simple playtime of childhoods past, encouraging creative play, stimulating imagination, and paving the way for a healthier mind and body.
Uses recycled materials
With the very real threat of climate change, reducing one’s carbon footprint has become a vital lifestyle adjustment. Re-painting and soldering worn-out playground equipment means introducing more harmful chemicals to the environment (plus a costly budget).
To play safer, an eco-friendly play space uses only non-toxic materials that are 100% recycled. Some of the practices include recycled rubber mulch surfacing made of shredded tires and playground equipment using post-consumer aluminum, plastic, and wood. If you’re thinking of getting recycled materials for your playground, check out the CPSC website for manufacturer reviews.
Reduces expensive environmental impact
There was a time when building a play park meant cutting down trees and drastically altering the landscape to fit the playground architecture. With eco-friendly play spaces, building around nature is key. Jungle gyms that wrap around tree trunks, basic wading pools, and tire or wooden swings hanging from sturdy branches are good examples. You build on what’s there without harming the environment, and you won’t have to pay for expensive installation and maintenance.
Complies with safety codes
When it comes to playgrounds, the mantra should be safety above all else. Whether it’s a traditional child’s playground or one that is multi-generational, the goal should be to meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations. Compliance not just ensures protection for consumers against injuries; it also safeguards the environment from hazardous materials.