Good things start on the playground

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Good things start on the playground. That chance moment when kids from anywhere get together just to be kids. To free their spirits, their bodies, their minds.

To play.

And through play, kids show persistence, leadership, competition, bravery, support, empathy. They show us who they will become as adults. They show us, as adults, who we should be now. Yes, good things start on the playground. And last a lifetime.

Browse or request your 2017 Playground Equipment Catalog and find inspiration for your next playground design. And we encourage you to share how you were #shapedbyplay in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Case Study: Creating an inclusive recreation destination

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Client: City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation department, Ankeny, Iowa

Designers: Outdoor Recreation Products and Gabriel Cotten, Landscape Structures playground designer

Goal: Create an inclusive destination to welcome children and families of all abilities

Solution: To create an inclusive play environment, a PlayBooster® playstructure with an extensive ramping system was installed. The ramps allow kids using wheelchairs or other mobility devices to get to the highest levels on the playground, and there are playground activities like the Rollerslide and Sway Fun® glider along the way. Set apart from the main playstructures are even more opportunities for inclusive play. And to tie in with the nearby Miracle League baseball field, custom baseball roofs were included.

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Visit playlsi.com to read more about how the City of Ankeny Parks and Recreation department partnered with community organizations to bring a unique recreation experience to the kid of Ankeny as well as surrounding communities.

Get ready to ROCK Las Vegas!

Join us in Las Vegas for the NRPA Annual Conference.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next week at the NRPA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re attending, join us for the following events:

  1. Exhibit Hall. Do you wanna ROCK? Then visit us in booth #847 on Tuesday and Wednesday as we rock the playground!
  2. Exhibit Hall Reception. Join us Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in booth #847 for a specialty cocktail. We’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ all night!
  3. Education Sessions. Join John McConkey, Ingrid M. Kanics, and our past clients to learn about the following:
    • The Power of Green Infrastructure Playgrounds: Engagement, Education and Stewardship – Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Breakers I.
    • All Ages, All Abilities: Are Your Parks Socially Sustainable? – Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 9:45 a.m. in Breakers E.
    • Evidence-Based Landscape Design: Pilot Study of Children with Developmental Disorders – Thursday, Sept. 17, at 10:45 a.m. in Breakers K.

Celebrate Kids to Parks Day on May 16

In just over a week, children and families will descend upon local, state and national parks to celebrate Kids to Parks Day. The event, being held on May 16, 2015, marks the fifth year that the National Park Trust has encouraged children and families to get outside for play, exploration and adventure.

Make the pledge to visit a local park on Kids to Parks Day, May 16.

Visit kidstoparks.org to make the pledge to plan a trip to the park on Saturday, May 16. Just by making the pledge, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a Nikon COOLPIX L830 camera. And while your there, you can browse a listing of park events by state and city to find one near you. Or find a nearby playground on playlsi.com that you can go explore.

Tom Sawyer Island at Amelia Earhart Park, Hialeah, Fla.

According to the National Park Trust, Kids to Parks Day is becoming America’s unofficial kick off to summer. So mark your calendar and plan to get out and play on May 16!

Celebrating landscape architecture throughout April

In addition to being Autism Awareness Month, this April has also been designated as World Landscape Architecture Month. The month-long event celebrates landscape architecture and the work its professionals do to design public and private spaces.

World Landscape Architecture Month 2015

We’re proud to be able to work with landscape architects to create innovative playground designs. Whether it’s a curvy, sprawling design of playground nets, an environment that teaches kids about the history of their community, or a themed playground that sends kids on an adventure in their imagination, playgrounds designed by landscape architects become spaces that welcome individuals of all ages, abilities and cultures.

Summit Park, Blue Ash, Ohio

We love the result of collaborating with landscape architects, but their designs go way beyond parks and playgrounds. See projects “Designed By A Landscape Architect” by following #wlam2015 on social media, then visit asla.org to learn more about World Landscape Architecture Month and the landscape architecture profession.

Supporting the children and nature movement

We know that improved concentration and school achievement, reduced stress levels and a foundation of environmental stewardship are just a few of the benefits that kids receive from playing outdoors. That’s why we’re committed to designing nature-inspired commercial playground equipment that gets kids outside for play and reconnecting with the natural world around them.

Children & Nature Network 2015 Conference

Our commitment to outdoor play is also why we’re proud to support the Children & Nature Network’s 2015 Conference April 7-9, in Austin, Texas. We’re looking forward to connecting with leaders from around the world to hear what others are doing to create nature-rich communities that are so critical to the health and wellbeing of children and families.

Learn more about how we help communities create natural play environments, and check out the Children & Nature Network for the latest in research and policies.

Take flight with ZipKrooz™

Zip lines have become the fastest growing recreational sport in the world, and now one of our newest innovations brings that adventure to the playground! ZipKrooz™ is our inclusive zip line for playgrounds, and when paired with its accessible companion, ZipKrooz Assisted, it provides a truly inclusive play experience.

ZipKrooz

ZipKrooz lets kids zip from one end to the other, and back again for nonstop fun. With three lengths of track available, ZipKrooz and ZipKrooz Assisted can accommodate any playground or all three can be installed to offer users a graduated experience. Even better, when installed together ZipKrooz and ZipKrooz Assisted provide children of all abilities the feeling of flying side-by-side.

Double ZipKrooz

Learn more about ZipKrooz and ZipKrooz Assisted and see it in action below.

Dreams becoming reality

Region 3 Winner: The Princess Alexa Foundation, Keller, Texas

The plans for Alexa’s Playground are coming along nicely. The playground designs are complete, and we are waiting to see the final layout with the colors. The grounds of Keller Sports Park have been leveled, and soon the space will be surveyed to determine accurate placement of the inclusive playground equipment. As we get closer to completion, we’re getting even more excited to see this dream of Alexa’s become a reality.

In addition to finalizing the playground designs and site plans, the Princess Alexa Foundation is working to secure funding. Recently, we were chosen as one of the beneficiaries of a local charity golf tournament. We are also working on a couple of grant proposals, and hope to connect with a local businessman who is influential within the community.

Sunday Night is Football Night

If you’re a football fan, you probably watch Sunday Night Football each weekend. What you might not pay attention to is the halftime show. However, last night, the halftime show featured Shane’s Inspiration and Landscape Structures playground equipment at Westside Park in L.A. The organization will be featured as part of Toyota’s Halftime Hand Off program, which aids organizations that use sports as a vehicle for change.

Jungle Wall at Westside Park

The Halftime Hand Off program profiles four organizations on the Toyota Facebook page each week, and asks fans to vote for the charity they feel is most deserving of support. The organization receiving the most votes each week receives a $10,000 donation from Toyota and is featured during the following week’s halftime show segment.

In addition to being featured on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and the $10,000 donation, NBC will create a 2-minute video on Shane’s Inspiration’s behalf that will be posted on YouTube and Facebook.

Congratulations to Shane’s Inspiration!

Children are our inspiration

The City of Gig Harbor, Wash., is the region one winner of the Together We Play™ essay contest. Their essay explains their inspiration behind submitting an essay–providing a place where all of their children can play together. Read the excerpt below to truly understand what inspired these moms.

“Our children are our inspiration. We are a group of mothers who have bonded together over the past 10 years–working hard to make our community a better place for our special needs children and for those to come in the future. In this case, we are members of the ‘Committee for an Inclusive Playground in the City of Gig Harbor.’ Each of us has a unique story–traumatic and often sad–and our children have many different diagnoses including muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delays, chromosome abnormalities and epilepsy. Yet, each family also has a typically developing child, and that has inspired us to create an inclusive playground.”

Children of all abilities should play together on the playground.