Barb’s Day of Honor 2019

barbking_240

Barb’s Day of Honor is celebrated at Landscape Structures Inc. every year on March 4th since losing the day’s namesake and Landscape Structures co founder, Barb King in 2008. Her legacy lives on through her many lifetime accomplishments and the way she impacted those around her. This positive influence is evident in the many stories and anecdotes shared by friends, family, and coworkers on this day.

Annotation 2019-03-06 121111

 

“Our highest purpose is to make a difference in the world – create a better place for children and families.”

Barb King
IMG_5029
One of Barb’s personal passions was advocating for healthier lifestyles for children and sparking an appreciation of nature in them. Barb founded the non profit Säjai® Foundation in honor of this commitment. Their mission is focused on teaching children the value of healthy living and encouraging an exploration  of the outdoors. This legacy continues through the merging of the Säjai® Foundation with Camp Fire in May 2013. Camp Fire serves more than 250,000 youths and families through outdoor activities with an emphasis on camping.
IMG_5042
Search our hashtag #HonoringBarbKing on Instagram or Twitter to read more about Barb King’s personal impact on others (or to add your own story!) or check out our Barb King Day post on Facebook.
barbkinginspirationpark02_h
Barb’s Inspiration Park (Delano, MN)

Are Splash Pads the New Public Pool?

Geographical areas that experience their version of “warm weather”, whether that be a few scorching months of summer, or relatively mild temperatures nearly year round, are most likely familiar with the concept of a nearby cool-off zone. For many decades, that has meant a community pool where families and nearby residents could gather to seek relief from the sun and expend warm-weather energy.

NatureTrailPark-29

Public pools, however, have some inherent limitations. Members of the community most likely vary widely in age, from very young toddlers to teens and their parents, grandparents, and caregivers. As a result, the interests of these different ages are varied and require a more complex play experience. Younger children are able to be more adventurous at a splash pad than at a pool as they aren’t required to know how to swim or be a certain height in order to maintain a level of safety. Children of all abilities would have the opportunity to engage with splash pads, especially those from Aquatix® by Landscape Structures which are designed specifically to cater to different abilities. This is not always true for pools. Gentler water experiences like misting and bubbling water may entertain young guests while jets and waterfalls keep older children and teens busy and cool.

MN - Delano Splash Pad - 110

Splash pads can also be beneficial when considering the cost and maintenance of the area compared to a pool. Adding a splash pad to a community area undoubtedly brings value to that area. They can be visually exciting and are more visible than the traditional swimming pool, attracting families to come and explore the community. They can be added to already existing facilities like parks to revitalize an area and create a destination location for repeat visitors.

MN - Delano Splash Pad - 56

Generally, the initial investment of a splash pad is less than a swimming pool. Since they do not generate standing water, there is far less risk for drowning, negating the need for fencing, signage, and lifeguards which are both initial and ongoing costs to consider.

 

For cities where public pools are not a viable option, splash pads from Aquatix® by Landscape Structures can bring fun, value, and interest to an area that may otherwise have no water play. Children of all abilities and many ages are able to enjoy the benefits of water play while architects and designers are able to take more creative liberty in designing an area that is just as visually interesting as it is fun.

Case Study: Play Reimagined

PacoSanchez-Blog01

Client: City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department

Landscape Architect: Dig Studio, Denver, Colo.

Goal: Get children and families outdoors and encourage life-long active and healthy lifestyles in a revitalized park environment.

PacoSanchez-Blog03

Solution: The giant 1950’s microphone-inspired tower heralds the horizon, but the built-in play value is what really makes this park honoring local radio DJ Paco Sanchez truly extraordinary. Brilliant colors and bold presence aside, it’s the imaginative use of the musical references that do the hard work of delivering dynamic play. Notes and scales offer footholds. Sound waves create netted climbing adventures. Chimes travel with kids as they run across the bridge.

Read more about how the City of Denver Parks and Recreation Department engaged the community and its culture through the transformation of Paco Sanchez Park.

Learning, celebrating and connecting in Philadelphia

Booth02_blog

Last weekend, we were in Philadelphia for the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Annual Meeting and Expo. First thing on Saturday morning, President Pat Faust introduced the speakers of the Opening General Session, Susan Stamberg and Laurie Olin. Following, we welcomed visitors to our booth space, which featured the Alpha® Tower and Friendship® Swing.

On Saturday night, we hosted an event for customers at NOTO. It was great connecting with all of the landscape architects, hearing about their amazing visions and sharing how, together, we can create word-of-mouth legendary play spaces. We’re already looking forward to next year in San Diego.

Taking #shapedbyplay on the road

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: We are all shaped by play. We feel so strongly about this message that we took it on the road to the 2017 NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans and ASLA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

Our booth spaces at both shows perfectly illustrated how we are all shaped by play. From showcasing those three words front and center to the photos of kids on our playground equipment, shade structures and aqua play products, the tree featuring artwork from local school kids and fun swag, we encouraged all visitors to consider how they were shaped by play.

Continue to share how you’re shaped by play and how you’re helping to build the leaders of tomorrow through play using #shapedbyplay. For a little inspiration, check out our video below.

Spinning into New Orleans

tradeshow-graphic

The ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo kicks off tomorrow in New Orleans, and we’re looking forward to connecting with everyone. If you’re attending, join us for the following:

  1. Opening General Session. We’re excited to sponsor a discussion with two of the most influential thinkers and practitioners of landscape architecture’s past 50 years. Join us on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 8 a.m. CST for Shared Wisdom: Legacy, Practice, and Partnership.
  2. EXPO. Take a spin around the EXPO, and be sure to visit us in booth #1221 on Saturday and Sunday for a play break. And check out Aquatix™ by Landscape Structures (formerly Aquatic Recreation Company) in booth #1233 to learn about the newest products for interactive water playgrounds.
  3. ASLA Student Awards Scholarships. Get a glimpse of the future of the profession. We’re pleased to provide scholarships to attend the annual meeting to these student leaders.

Additionally, stop by the LAF (Landscape Architecture Foundation) booth #100 to learn about its 50 & Forward Campaign. We are proud to support this campaign and its effort to expand existing programs and support new initiatives of the LAF.

The Canyon Collection™, landscape architects ROCKED Chicago

ASLA_Booth1

At the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting & Expo last weekend in Chicago, we ROCKED the exhibit hall! Our booth space featured The Canyon Collection™ and a customized Netplex™ in our new colors and the HealthBeat® Chest/Back Press and Elliptical stations.

ASLA_Booth2 ASLA_Booth3

Visitors to our booth were met with our nature-inspired climbers, which enticed many to test out their rock-climbing skills. All that play combined with Pop Rocks took attendees back to days from their youth. In addition to our booth, we were proud to sponsor the Opening General Session featuring creators of the PBS series, 10 Parks That Changed America. We also sponsored the Edible Landscape Celebration, which included healthy, locally sourced and heirloom foods, dancing and a Blues Brothers tribute!

Pat-and-Daryl

Even more, we were excited to celebrate our President Pat Faust, who was presented with an Honorary Membership in ASLA. This honor is given to non-landscape architects for their commitment to the landscape architecture profession.

We had a great time in Chicago visiting with park and recreation professionals, hearing from industry experts and taking in all that the city has to offer. Our employees and playground consultants are already looking forward to the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans!