Friday, June 16, 2017

Safe Playground Surfaces – Wood Fiber, Rubber Mulch and Pour-in-Place Rubber

A study on playground injuries showed that over 70% of them are due to falls under play structures. To ensure that our parks and school playgrounds are safe for children to enjoy, installing a safe playground surface is essential. While it is common for kids to play in sand or grass and soil, these surfaces are generally unsafe when play equipment is installed on them. So what types of playground surface materials are safe and how to they compare?

Among the safe, ADA-compliant playground surfacing materials, the most popular options are wood fiber, rubber mulch and pour-in-place rubber.

rubber mulch playground surface built from recycled tires

Wood Fiber Mulch Playground

Wood fiber mulch is affordable and eco-friendly. It is made from engineered wood and is free of paint and chemicals. It does require raking and top ups, thus the maintenance cost can be higher than rubber mulch. Wood fiber has a natural look that blends in well with most outdoor park playground settings.

Recycled Rubber Mulch Playground Surfacing

Rubber mulch is made from recycled tires. It does not absorb water and decompose, and requires less top ups than wood fiber. It also offers better fall protection than wood fiber.

Pour-in-place Rubber Playground Surfacing

This is the most accessible playground surface and allowing wheelchairs to most easily roll over it. It must be installed over concrete, asphalt or a compacted aggregate stone and is comprised of two layers, a cushioning layer and a decorative top layer. The top layer can be creatively designed in various colors and patterns to enhance the look of the playground. Pour-in-place rubber playground surfacing is durable and needs little maintenance other than checking for cracks on a regular basis, but it is more expensive compared to wood fiber and rubber mulch.

Premier Park and Play has designed and installed many excellent playgrounds in New England that meets safety and accessibility standards. We offer playground surfacing options including wood fiber mulch, rubber mulch, poured-in-place rubber and others. To find out which playground surfacing option is right for you, please contact Doug Knotts at or call 617-244-3317.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

School Playground Equipment - Choice and Installation

Educators know that play is one of the most effective ways for children to learn. That is why a well designed and installed playground is an indispensable part of a school. Here, we provide some suggestions for School Boards and PTAs to consider when choosing playground equipment and installing play structures on their grounds.

Carry out a needs assessment

Before you start reviewing the possible equipment or designs, it is essential to carry out a needs assessment. Some of the things to consider should include:

  • Age of the children using the playground
  • Size of the required play structures, as well as furnishings such as benches and planters, and outdoor shelters
  • Number of kids who will use the playground
  • Special needs to accommodate disabilities
  • Constraints of your physical environment.
An experienced playground consultant can offer insights on other things that you need to consider before choosing the equipment for your playground.

Playground structure at Milestone Day School, Waltham, MA
Playground structure at Milestone Day School, Waltham, MA

Playground Equipment and Design 

The ideal playground should give children exercise, socialization, and learning opportunities. A great playground should have the equipment and design to stimulate kids’ sense of adventure and their need to explore and investigate. It should encourage kids to run, swing, climb, and then do it again! There is an undeniable link between a healthy body and a healthy mind, especially for growing kids. 

An excellent playground equipment supplier can help you choose the right equipment based on your needs. They can put together a playground design and construction plan to make your dream playground a reality!

Play Structure at St Mary School, Hampton, NH
Play Structure at St Mary School, Hampton, NH

Playground Installation - Safety and Accessibility

Every parent needs assurance on the safety of their children when using the playground. Playground safety includes not only the safety of the play equipment, but also playground surfacing, and the overall safety of the playground environment. An experienced certified playground safety inspector can give you a good assessment after a site visit. He can also ensure that your choice of playground equipment meets safety and accessibility standards established by ASTM, CPSC and ADAAG.

Premier Park and Play is a highly reputable provider of playground equipment and playground design and installation services. The company has designed and built many school playgrounds in New England. Owner Doug Knotts has over 20 years of park & playground industry consulting experience. He has a Master's Degree in Recreation, Sports and Leisure Management from Northeastern University and has been an NPSI certified playground safety inspector since 1995. Doug has a natural understanding of the things that would excite a child, and applies it toward the design of playgrounds. If your school is looking to install a new playground, please visit our website at and contact Doug at or call 617-244-3317.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Playground Equipment For Schools

The playground is often the place where school kids develop socials skills and learn valuable lessons about teamwork, trust, patience and following rules. That’s why Premier Park and Park provides not only playground equipment for schools, but also offers lots of advice and project management services in the design and construction of the playground.

Playground equipment at Rockport Camden Elementary School

One of our customers is Milestones Day School of Waltham, MA. Premier Park and Play provided playground design services in addition to supplying and installing playground equipment by Meglio Unionland. As the School’s Executive Director puts it: “The elaborate play structure design was a huge social project. Doug Knotts gave us the parameters and a plethora of playground components to pick from. Students voted on which structures they liked best and ultimately which ones were included in our playground. The final design was a collaboration between Doug and the Milestones staff.”

At Rockport-Camden Elementary School of Rockport, Maine, Premier Park and Play representative, Doug Knotts, again provided assistance in the design of the playground and playground equipment. He facilitated a "design the playground day" during which both students and parents were involved in the design of the playground. After the design process, Doug carefully planned the construction process which was finely executed by experience builders who completed the whole playground in two days! 

“We found Doug Knotts, to be professional, knowledgeable and incredibly easy to work with from the first meeting where we discussed our needs, to the final completion of the playground project. The many parents volunteers involved in the construction of the playground commented on how they enjoyed working with the builders. Our K-4 elementary students love the playground. I highly recommend for any school considering to replace or add on a playground to consider contacting Premier Park and Play."

From traditional playground equipment such as slides and jungle gyms to fantasy themed playground castles – and even larger than life outdoor musical instruments – Premier Park and Play can help you design, source and install the playground equipment that’s just right for you. We are committed to putting both the customer and safety first, making sure that all the playground systems we install are compliant with ASTM, CPSC and ADAAG regulations. To find out how we can help you design the perfect playground to meet your needs, contact us today.