In June, we awarded the Iola Kiwanis club in Iola, Kan., $25,000 in playground equipment as part of the Make a Difference Through Play contest. We’re happy to share another update from Michael Ford, member of Iola Kiwanis and community resource officer for the Iola Police Department.
Our last update was in mid-December, and plans for our inclusive playground have been moving fast since then. Our fundraising got a big boost at the end of 2013 through a couple of grants and individual donors, and now we’re moving quickly towards the installation.
We’re hoping to install the playground on April 5-6, during Kiwanis International’s One Day—weather depending, of course. And will build the playground with the help of community volunteers. Groups within the community have come to us to ask if they can participate. We’ve got volunteers from a local bank and church, the police station, the M.O.M.S. group as well as their friends and family, and the Iola Kiwanis Club. Even more than helping with the manual labor, people are offering to help with lunches and even the Girl Scouts are hoping to be there to help cheer on the rest of the volunteers.
Our playground consultant from ATHCO, L.L.C. and the Iola Parks and Recreation Department have helped coordinate the installation, and we’re targeting a two-day build. Following the build, we’ll tackle the site work and surfacing installation. Everyone in Iola—from kids to adults—is excited to see this project come together and looking forward to playing on the inclusive playground this spring.
After observing kids at a local childcare facility, we realized that 2- and 3-year-olds are reaching specific developmental milestones. They’re on the move (to say the least), and are stimulated by things that move! That’s why we created Smart Play: Motion, a new playstructure with lots of moving parts that’s scaled just right for developing toddlers and preschoolers. Kids get plenty of developmentally appropriate challenges with 16 interactive play events.
From a shape-and-fit table to a sensory station, every bit of Smart Play: Motion has some aspect of interactivity to it. Instead of creating just a handrail, our designers incorporated moveable puzzle pieces to create more engagement. And there’s a race car track that encourages cooperative play and interaction. Even more, this compact playstructure is completely accessible to welcome children of all abilities.
Smart Play: Motion not only provides smart design to help create smart kids, but it’s manufactured with a smart use of materials. The manufacturing of Smart Play: Motion—similar to the manufacturing process of all our playground products—is focused on getting as many components as possible out of the smallest amount of material.
Earlier this week, we were in Clemson, S.C., for the U.S. Play Coalition’s 2014 Conference on the Value of Play. This marks the fifth year of the Conference, and we’re proud to say that we’ve sponsored the event since its inception. The Conference on the Value of Play brings together advocates for play—ranging from parents, parks and recreation professionals, educators, landscape architects, healthcare professionals and many more—to help advance the discussion and elevate the importance of play for people of all ages.
Learn more about the U.S. Play Coalition including how to get involved in promoting the value of play throughout life.
On Monday, Feb. 10, we celebrated from afar the grand opening of the first inclusive playground in Russia. The inclusive playground was installed in association with the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi.
We worked with our partner in inclusive play, Shane’s Inspiration, to design the inclusive play space. In addition to being fully inclusive, the playground offers a nature-inspired play experience with log steppers, climbers that mimic logs and boulders, and a tree house. The nature-inspired features along with the sensory- and accessible-focused playground components help to welcome children of all abilities.
This is the second Olympics-related inclusive playground in which Shane’s Inspiration and we’ve been involved—the first was installed in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Learn more about the project, and see photos here.
We’re excited to introduce our new Playground Inspirations book and app! With our 2014 new products, bold signature design ideas and age-appropriate playground environments, you’ll find loads of inspiration to create new play environments that will welcome the entire community. Even more, we’ve paired the Playground Inspirations book with the new Playground Inspirations app, which brings designs found in the book to life with images, videos and renders.
Get inspiration for your next playground project with our 2014 PLAY Book! In the 40-page book, you’ll see real-life projects from around the nation. From musical-themed play spaces to nature-inspired playstructures and uniquely designed playgrounds set in one-of-a-kind environments, you’ll be inspired to create a playground design that fits your community.
Harrison Recreation Center, Washington, DC
When you pair up with our designers, artists and sculptors, you’ll find an amazing toolbox of creative possibilities at your disposal. Plus, our extensive manufacturing capabilities let you artfully incorporate a variety of materials into your playground designs to create a play experience teeming with design innovation.
Triangle Park, Aurora, Colo.
We’ll help you personalize your traditional design to make it out-of-this-world unique! Browse the 2014 PLAY Book or request a copy to learn how we’ll collaborate with you to create signature gathering spaces that your entire community will enjoy.
Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, Long Island City, N.Y.
With the arrival of the New Year, it’s a great time for us to look back on 2013. We’re honored, along with our playground consultants, to collaborate with you on playground projects and proud of what we’ve accomplished together. Check out just a few of the happenings from 2013 in the following list:
Introduced exciting new products—Pulse™, We-saw™ and three site furnishings collections—in January.
Steve King, cofounder of Landscape Structures, unveiled his book A Legacy of Play, which documents the more than 40-year history of the company.
Announced our new partnership with Kiwanis International, and kicked off a contest to help bring play to communities around the world. Our winner was the Iola Kiwanis club in Iola, Kan., which is currently fundraising for their inclusive playground.
Barb King (1946-2008), cofounder of Landscape Structures, was inducted into the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame, which honors women entrepreneurial leaders who represent 150 years of Minnesota business history.
Introduced new signature designs including the Eclipse Net® Plus, Hillscape Adventure and GeoNetrix.
Hosted occupational therapists for a playground tour throughout the Twin Cities metro during the AOTA Specialty Conference.
Installed a SpongeBob-themed playground at Enterprise Elementary School in Enterprise, Fla., which was the grand prize of the 2012 Nickelodeon “I Wanna Play” Sweeps.
Reconnected with, and met new, parks and recreation professionals at our party at Lucky Strike Lanes during the NRPA Congress & Exposition in Houston.
Attended the ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in Boston at which our booth, featuring GeoNetrix, was voted by landscape architects as Best Visual Appeal.
Celebrated with our partner, Shane’s Inspiration, the grand opening of the first inclusive playground in the country of Ecuador.
In less than two weeks, we’ll continuing celebrating a great 2013 with our playground consultants from around the world when they arrive in Minnesota for our Annual Sales Meeting. Stay tuned for announcements of our new catalog, products and more in the upcoming weeks! Want to be the first to hear about them? Sign up for our e-newsletters or subscribe to receive notifications of new blog posts by email.