Steve King was honored with the Visionary Leadership Award from Shane’s Inspiration, a nonprofit organization specializing in the design and educational programming of inclusive playgrounds, at their annual gala on April 21. King, the cofounder of Landscape Structures Inc., the Delano, Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, was recognized for his commitment to providing inclusive playground equipment for children of all abilities as well as his philanthropic support of Shane’s Inspiration’s abilities awareness programs.
King, an American Society of Landscape Architecture Fellow, created a new type of play environment as his final project at Iowa State. After observing children at nearby playgrounds and the child development department on campus, he put together a concept that combined traditional playground equipment such as slides and climbers into an endless stream of connected activities, which he later termed “continuous play.”
Since that concept was introduced, King has continued to build upon it. He has committed his entire life to creating play spaces for children of all abilities. King was chairman of a task group of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that worked with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) to update the ASTM F1487 Specification, a voluntary safety and accessibility standard for public playground equipment designed for children ages 2 to 12. His task group had the added responsibility of developing playground accessibility standards to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In addition to his commitment to providing truly inclusive playground equipment, King was honored for his continued support of Shane’s Inspiration. King and his wife and cofounder of Landscape Structures, Barbara (1946-2008), met Catherine Curry-Williams and Tiffany Harris, cofounders of Shane’s Inspiration, more than 10 years ago. Since then, Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures have partnered to design and install more than 30 inclusive playgrounds throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.