We don’t just manufacture playgrounds at Landscape Structures. What we do here is shape kids’ lives… their futures. It has been more than 45 years since we’ve opened our doors and we continue to invest our hearts and souls into our work. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to explain why we do what we do. But this video captures exactly what gets us out of bed every day… why we create the best playgrounds in the world: for a better tomorrow, we play today.
Steve King, our cofounder and chairman, released a book titled, A Legacy of Play, in January. In A Legacy of Play, readers take a journey through the unusual history of Landscape Structures, and learn how the company helped the playground industry evolve while keeping in mind the most important aspect of play—child development across all ages and abilities.
When Steve was a landscape architectural student at Iowa State University in the mid-1960s, he was eager to learn more about play and went to the Child Development Department to observe kids. Their behaviors—kids didn’t like standing in line to use the swings or slides; they wanted group activities—got him thinking. For Steve’s final project he designed a playstructure using the continuous play concept, which combines traditional playground equipment into an endless stream of activities.
In 1971, Steve and his late wife, Barb, cofounded Landscape Structures. We are headquartered in Delano, Minn., and proud to be a 100-percent employee-owned company. Since opening, Steve and Barb were committed to enhancing children’s lives by creating inspiring play experiences, a mission that all of us employees connect with and work towards.
Steve continues to serve as chairman of Landscape Structures and is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA). He served as chairman for the task group of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that worked to develop accessibility standards to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, and a founding member and past president of IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association).
A Legacy of Play is available for order on amazon.com. The cost of the book is $14.95, and proceeds will go to the SEBA Foundation, the King family charitable foundation dedicated to environmental and children’s causes.
Region 2 Winner: The FUNdation, South Elgin, Ill.
On Oct. 21, 2011, we marked the beginning of an incredible journey for FUNdation and the Village of South Elgin, Ill. We marked our celebration as the region 2 winner of the Together We Play™ contest by hosting a kickoff celebration at the location of our inclusive playground site. We held a community options planning session and invited many local community members to help us dream big! Great design ideas were shared by school administration, parents, Village administration, parks and recreation staff, teachers and committee members. In December, we received conceptual designs from Shane’s Inspiration and are on our way to completion.
Several of our committee members visited Landscape Structures in Delano, Minn., to take a tour of their production facility. Not only are the products produced by Landscape Structures of the highest quality, we learned so much about the culture of their business. And with the addition of their concrete manufacturing plant, nothing is impossible to create into play. We plan to include concrete products in our playground design.
Tiffany Harris and Brad Thornton from Shane’s Inspiration joined us on a cold, blizzard-filled evening in January as we reached out to our community members to gain support for this inclusive play project. After we shared our vision for inclusive play with those in attendance, we asked everyone to become ambassadors for this unique project. We have hosted two more open houses to educate community members, and we continue to research possible funding opportunities to help us meet our $1.1 million budget goal.