Just a few weeks ago I received an email alert about a 7-year-old girl’s death on a playground in the State of Washington. This recent death of a young girl has once again placed our public playgrounds under the microscope of media scrutiny. I have a concern with how the media and public playground owners are reacting to this story. Some public agency governing boards and administrators have already taken action even though the facts of the case are still under investigation.
Each year over 290 million tires are discarded in the U.S. alone and disposing of all those old tires can be a big challenge for a lot of reasons. When used tires are sent to the landfill they cause numerous problems for both the landfill operators and the environment. Intact tires in a landfill tend to float to the surface of the trash heap where they make perfect homes for rodents and damage landfill liners, which can lead to even more environmental problems! And it’s not like those tires are going to disappear over time.
My recent article for Playground Magazine dealt with the materials technology of playgrounds. One of the materials I mentioned was the trend toward using more naturals such as logs, plants, and rocks, etc. I needed a good image of a playscape to illustrate this and reached out to a Linkedin group I belong to, Natural Playgrounds. In addition to a lot of images, a whole discussion ensued that was very interesting.