My staff and I conduct playground safety audits all over the country and we often find confusion (by owners, designers, users, and maintenance crews) on what type of equipment should be reviewed to the playground standards. My hope is that the following article can provide some clarification to the confusion. As with many aspects of life, there is a lot of gray and very little black and white on this issue, and I would strongly suggest contacting your equipment manufacturer to receive their opinions.
When children have outgrown the pre-school playgrounds, then what? We have games, sports and playfields. These are words used and often interchanged within the vocabulary of the recreational and playground specialist. There appears to be many ways to establish a distinction among these words. But one overlooked distinction concerns the reality that the overwhelming number of sports played in society are sports designed to defeat others. There is no “game” in these sports without an opponent. The sports cannot be played without winners and losers. Coaches and instructors teach how best to defeat others. That's one of several criteria in the use of the language we employ concerning recreation. An important distinction which should not be overlooked is the one in which the play is alongside rather than against others and there is no one to defeat. These are sports without opponents. These are sports which are self competitive.
THE QUESTION: Which came first? The chicken or the egg. Man has been pondering this question forever and now I feel like I am in the middle of the same conundrum with regards to performance requirements for play equipment versus performance requirements for impact attenuation surfaces within the play equipment use zone.
Bike trails offer citizens a multitude of valuable benefits. They act as corridors that wind through our communities connecting neighborhoods, attractions, business districts, and landscapes. Bike trails are a critical element of a comprehensive recreational system. Trails allow a diverse range of users to participate at their own speeds, scale, and preference. More than that, bike trails entice the average person to reconnect to nature, experience the outdoors, and promote physical activity. Additionally, bike trails encourage movement and mobility, serving a separate function as a means of transportation.