A cost-effective, simple approach to building community splash pads

If you’re looking for ready-to-install splash pad designs, look no further than AquaSmart™ Packages. These self-contained splash pads are powered by HydroLogix®, which eliminates the need for costly electrical installation and allows you to install one just about anywhere.

AquaSmart packages are sized right for smaller pocket parks, childcare facilities and compact urban areas. Add one adjacent to a playground or even alongside a larger splash pad. Kids will love being in control of the action; just a push of the button and the entire splash pad comes to life. The low-flow, low-water option offered by HydroLogix greatly reduces water consumption while still providing plenty of opportunities for splashtastic play.

See all of the AquaSmart Packages—Package A through Package H.

HydroLogix Activation Bollard

Best of all, the HydroLogix system is now available as an alternate mechanical system. This means the HydroLogix system can be included in a variety of splash pad designs for a cost-effective and simple approach to installing a community splash pad. Learn more about the patented HydroLogix system, and contact your local Aquatix consultant today.

Legacy of Play H2O Contest allows Minnesota Kiwanis Club to create safe aqua play solution

We’re excited to announce that the Chisholm Kiwanis Club of Chisholm, Minn., is the winner of the Legacy of Play H2O Contest and will receive an AquaSmart™ Package valued at US$50,000.

Chisholm is a mining town on the Mesabi Range in Northern Minnesota with a population of less than 5,000. While the town is built around the 158-acre Longyear Lake, it is not fit for swimming and several nearby open pit mines are not monitored or safe for swimming. That’s why the Chisholm Kiwanis Club was focused on bringing an option for safe water play to the community.

The club will install the splash pad equipment in Memorial Park, a space that already offers football and softball fields, sand volleyball, bocce ball and pickleball courts, as well as the summer recreation program. The addition of the splash pad will encourage even more community members as well as surrounding communities to visit and enjoy the beautiful town of Chisholm.

“Our club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020, and this project has been something we’ve been talking about ever since,” explained Shannon Kishel-Roche, Chisholm Kiwanis Club’s president. “A splash pad was a great solution to our lack of community swimming options, and it’s a great opportunity to commemorate our club’s centennial.”

While this is the first year that Aquatix®, Landscape Structures and Kiwanis International have sponsored the Legacy of Play H2O contest, we have partnered with Kiwanis to sponsor the Legacy of Play Contest focused on playgrounds for eight years. Stay tuned for more information about the 2022 annual Legacy of Play Contest coming later this year and find more information here.

Legacy of Play H2O Contest now accepting applications

We, along with Aquatix® by Landscape Structures, are excited to launch the Legacy of Play H2O Contest in partnership with Kiwanis International. This new contest will award one Kiwanis club an AquaSmart™ Package from Aquatix valued at up to US$50,000.

Landscape Structures and Aquatix partnered with Kiwanis to create the Legacy of Play H2O Contest as a way to help Kiwanis clubs achieve their goal of bringing play to all children. See the timeline of the contest below, review the questions, read the official contest rules and submit entries at kiwanis.org:

Entry Period. Connect with your local Kiwanis club and have them submit an entry between Feb. 1-28.

Voting Period. All eligible entries will be open to public vote beginning March 3. Encourage your community to vote!

Selection Period. The top 10 finalists from the public vote will be reviewed by a panel of judges from Kiwanis International, Aquatix and more.

Winner Announcement. The winner of the Legacy of Play H2O Contest will be announced on or around March 26.

Have questions about how you can become eligible for the Legacy of Play H2O Contest? Contact us today and we’ll help you make a connection to your local Kiwanis club.

Spin Toward Tomorrow

At Landscape Structures, we believe that play is the best way to prepare for the future. In play, we get a taste of adventure. We dare ourselves to be brave. We rely on helping hands. We extend a hand to others. We take in a 360-degree view of all that’s left to be explored, and then come back to what grounds us. We can’t predict what’s waiting around every bend, but we can prepare ourselves for the dizzying opportunities tomorrow brings.

2022 Playground Equipment Catalog

You’ll find everything you need to complete your play environment in our 2022 Playground Equipment Catalog. From new products to featured designs, individual components and outdoor fitness equipment, we’ll ensure your play space is everything you imagine and more. Browse our digital catalog, then request a copy.

2022 SkyWays® Digital Catalog

Make a true impact with a fully integrated shade system for your playstructure, splash pad or any activity area. From small to big shade, decorative to themed shade, we have flexible and stylish options for everywhere people like to gather. Browse the SkyWays® Shade Products digital catalog, then contact us to get started on a new commercial shade project.

2022 Aquatix® Digital Catalog

Our splashtastic products engage kids’ imaginations, encourage exploration and deliver exhilarating new experiences with water to people of all abilities and on splash pads of all sizes. Discover how Aquatix® water-based activities can help you create a signature destination. Browse our digital catalog, then contact us to get started on your upcoming splash pad project.

Does your community or school have relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)? We can help enhance your outdoor spaces, support increased maintenance needs, address learning loss and student mental health, and much more. Contact us to learn how we can support your upcoming projects.

The benefits of commercial shade sails

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We all know the physical and emotional benefits to getting outdoors. Adding shade structures to outdoor spaces can increase visitors to your community parks, playgrounds, sports and recreation complexes, and more. With the added protection of shade, play sessions can be extended making the benefits of play and outdoor activity even greater. We can help you add commercial shade sails to your outdoor areas with SkyWays® shade structures, which offers flexible and stylish options to make everywhere that people gather outside more comfortable.

To appreciate the benefits of shade, it’s important to understand the risks and long-term effects of UV radiation and sun exposure. Evidence from the Skin Cancer Foundation shows that sun exposure and sunburns during childhood multiply the risk of developing skin cancer. And according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes—even when days are cool and cloudy. SkyWays commercial shade sails provide critical protection, blocking up to 97 percent of the sun’s UV rays while making temperatures underneath up to 30-degrees cooler.

When adequate shade is added to playgrounds and surrounding areas, kids are protected from UV exposure, and parents and caregivers are more likely to extend play sessions. Families may be more likely to extend their picnic or family outing if they’re keeping cool and protected under a shade. Additionally, schools are utilizing shade sails and structures to extend their classroom space to the great outdoors. By adding SkyWays shade sails to existing courtyards or a new outdoor classroom space, schools can embrace the benefits of nature for outdoor learning and not worry about sun exposure or inclement weather.

Outdoor classroom concepts

Even more, commercial shade sails can help protect your investment. Integrating SkyWays shade into your playground design or adding it after your outdoor space has been completed will shield it from the intense rays of the sun and protect it from harsh winter weather. Shade structures help to prevent premature fading and deterioration by keeping the color of equipment vibrant and preventing cracking that happens over time from sun exposure.

Learn more about SkyWays commercial shade structures, and contact your local Landscape Structures consultant to get started on a shade project for your park, playground, outdoor classroom, sports and recreation complex, or wherever you need shade today.

50 Years at Play

Many people remember the days of freestanding slides, swings and monkey bars. But in 1967, that idea of playground design advanced to interconnected play components. The revolutionary idea of combining playground activities is known as the continuous play concept, which was created by our Cofounder Steve King. As his final thesis project at Iowa State University, Steve developed a system that linked play activities together to provide a continuous challenge for children. His premise was that if kids are together on one structure, they’ll learn things that they will use in real life like social and conflict-resolution skills.

While his thesis only scored him a C+ grade, Steve took his continuous play concept to his first job as a landscape architect specializing in park planning. In 1969, he was assigned a playground design project for the City of Minneapolis where he was able to put his approach in action. His first playground was a success, which lead to more interest. And in April 1971, Steve and Barb obtained a $1,000 loan and incorporated Landscape Structures to design and build playstructures. See our company timeline here.

In an effort to provide great play experiences for kids, Landscape Structures has always been committed to innovation. Hedra®, one of our more recent inventions, allows kids to safely navigate via their own intuition and curiosity, and invent routes, games and imaginary environments. Our long-standing commitment to inclusive play is breaking barriers with the new We-Go-Swing™, the first no-transfer inclusive swing that can be integrated directly into the playground setting. Even more, the use of innovative materials and the development of colors that are truly inspired by nature is changing the world of playgrounds.

As Landscape Structures moves into its 50th year of business, we’re taking time to reflect on the power of play. We know that play and recreation has far more value than just being fun; it is essential for the health and wellbeing of communities. And that’s why our team—nearly 500 employees and the network of more than 200 playground consultants worldwide—is proud to provide unique play opportunities for all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Because no matter what’s happening in the world, we will always come back to play.

View our 2021 catalogs

Now is the time for play. If ever we’ve needed to rely on the physical, emotional and social benefits of play, it’s now. If ever we’ve needed a chance to feel fresh air, stretch our limbs and have some fun, it’s now. If ever we’ve needed to feel included, capable, understood, it’s now. No matter how much the world changes around us, play will always be an important part of shaping kids’ lives. That’s why we will always come back to play.

2021 Playground Equipment Catalog
You’ll find everything you need to complete your play environment. From new products to featured designs, individual components and fitness equipment, we’ll ensure your play space is everything you imagine and more. Browse our virtual publication, then request a copy.

2021 SkyWays Shade Products Catalog
Give kids and families much needed heat and sun protection while visiting any play, rest or activity area. From small to big shade, decorative to themed shade, we have flexible and stylish options for everywhere people like to gather. Browse the SkyWays® Shade Products virtual catalog, then contact us to get started on a new commercial shade project.

2021 Aquatix Catalog
Our imaginative designs continue to advance the world of dynamic water events—achieving new levels of chilling thrills, challenging interactive games and inventive water-based activities. Invite kids and families of all ages and abilities to immerse themselves in the brilliance of an Aquatix water experience. Browse our virtual catalog, then contact us to get started on your upcoming splash pad project.

Hitting the streets of Baltimore

The 2019 NRPA Annual Conference is just five days away, and we’re excited to get to Baltimore to connect, learn and discover with all of you. If you’re planning to attend the Conference, mark your calendar to join us throughout the week.

DISCOVER.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll be in the Exhibit Hall in booths 3003 and 2806. In the Landscape Structures booth, you’ll find lots of playground inspiration, fun products and opportunities to recharge. Our friends at Aquatix will be nearby ready to talk all things splash play, inclusive spray play and more.

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CONNECT.
Tuesday evening, we’ll be at Eutaw Street – Oriole Park at Camden Yards celebrating the work our customers are doing to shape the lives of children.

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LEARN.
Join us for our education session, Spray Play for All: Designing Inclusive Splash Parks, on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 11 a.m. You’ll hear from our experts, John McConkey and Bill Hachmeister, as well as Ingrid Kanics, president of Kanics Inclusive Design Services, and Rickie Yeager, the development director with the City of Parkersburg, W.V.

Get more details about the NRPA Annual Conference including keynote speakers, workshops and more. And be sure to stop by our booths to connect with us!

 

Planning an Inclusive Splash Pad

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Splash pads are a great way to make aquatic play accessible. Even though splash pads may be accessible to those with differing abilities, this does not make them fully inclusive inherently. Designing bigger and more exciting splash pads does not necessarily make a splash pad more inclusive. In fact, bigger and more exciting often adds barriers for some individuals. Designing for inclusion requires extra consideration  in the design process, but typically very little consideration for extra budget or maintenance.

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Splash pads should be designed as an aquatic play environment comprised of features that maximize the sensory and cognitive stimulation for children of all physical and mental abilities and is designed to encourage all children to play together and with the same features. Play features that are wheelchair height accessible and adequate turn-around space between elements are important aspects to consider in design. Other considerations should be made for how children with autism or other sensory differences may approach such a space: is there a balance between intense and more gentle water play? How will the various sounds and sights affect those playing in this space?

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From the design of the splash pad feature, to the methods of accessing the site, be conscious of barriers to access and address them early in the design process. For instance, assure that there are adequate handicapped parking spaces and that the path from parking to the splash pad location does not contain any obstacles.

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All splash pads should be developed utilizing a rule of thumb for one child every 25 square feet of active water spray. Splash pads are an excellent opportunity for park agencies to develop safe play areas that encourage people of differing ages and abilities to experience water play.

To learn more about Splash Pad products, visit the Aquatix website.

Planning a Community Splash Pad: Goals and Development

Welcome back to the second installment of our educational series on how to create a community splash pad! The last post focused on items to be accomplished in the pre-planning stage. This week we will be focusing on the goals of the splash pad and its development.

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Goals

By creating a list of goals, planners and decision makers can refer to the objectives they set in the beginning to re-evaluate their choices to ensure they meet the goals they originally set out with. The goal of a Master Plan is to provide community residents exceptional open space, park land, facilities and programs to splash pad users.

The following goals and objectives are intended to provide an operational framework for future decisions related to provision of parks and recreation.

  • Create a Sense of Community and Belonging
  • Offer programming that is targeted to families and those residents without support services.
  • Celebrate the community through participation in festivals, community functions and events.
  • Support and encourage new developments to include areas for active and passive recreation.
  • Provide parks and recreation facilities that are of the highest quality, that preserve open space and history, are well maintained and that are accessible to all residents of the community.
  • To create a community of healthy residents by providing opportunities that promote and encourage active lifestyles.
  • Provide recreation programming and facility opportunities that meet the needs and interests of the entire community.
  • To use existing community resources efficiently and to demonstrate fiscal responsibility.
  • To build a city-wide system of parks connected by trails and greenways to provide both active and passive recreation opportunities.
  • To enhance the landscape character and aesthetics of parks to heighten the experience of the spray park user.
  • To increase the accessory services and facilities available to the park system use in the way of adequate restrooms, water fountains, concessions, shades areas, playgrounds, and other accessory services or facilities.

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Development

  • Clearly define the goals of the project (i.e. public health, revenue generation, community asset, etc.) and frame public discussions, budget numbers and designs in terms of stated goals.
  • Design the splash pad so that capacity aligns with projected use and revenue goals. Don’t cap users at a much lower number than the official capacity of their splash pad for safety.
  • Ensure access issues such as parking are considered early in the design process.
  • Plan for expansion and new features (i.e. install more ground sprays than will initially be used and buy water features that can be replaced or exchanged).
  • Explore opportunities to develop splash pads near other public amenities such as parks, pools, picnic areas and community centers.
  • Ensure adequate seating in shaded areas for adults supervising splash pad users.
  • Install mechanical and electrical equipment on concrete surfaces and insulated from dust and dirt.

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Important considerations during the planning process:

1.Physical Location

  • Within Community
  • Within Park or Recreation District
  • Proximity to similar neighboring facilities

2. Location and Availability of Parking

  • Is there sufficient parking?
  • Is there van or bus parking?
  • Is the parking shared with other activities?

3. Location and Availability of Restrooms and Concessions

  • Are restrooms included?
  • Are changing areas included?

4. Existing Utility Services (Water, Sanitary, Storm and Electrical)

  • Are existing utilities on site or nearby?

5. Nearby Amenities and Facilities (Playground, Athletic Fields, Mini Golf, Courts, etc.)

  • Are there nearby facilities that will complement the sprayground? Or negatively impact the sprayground?

6. Neighborhood Connectivity, Bicycle Routes

  • Connectivity to nearby regional bicycle or multi-use trail systems.

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To learn more about Aquatix splash pad and water play products, visit their website.