Archive for August, 2009

Center Stage has Contemporary Designs and Creative Options

August 27, 2009

Some of the most exciting, contemporary playgrounds are those in the Center Stage line from Miracle Recreation Company. Whether the design you have in mind is a simple, yet intriguing combination of features or a complex and eye-opening masterwork, the equipment available in this line is safe, durable, and cutting-edge. The color schemes available are top of the line in both color selection variety and quality. The equipment themes include animal features such as frog slides and fish ladders and also nature inspired ones like leaf canopy and tree trunk towers.

A wide array of colors makes this site memorable.

A wide array of colors makes this site memorable.

Imagine a playground comprised of colors ranging from hot red and brilliant blue to bright orange and deep purple that has a centrally located tower with slide, overhead challenge, and climbing obstacle offshoots. Now think of a long, bridge like playground with three linear towers with connections that offer places to scale up, glide around, hide in, and swing on. Which one would you prefer? The Center Stage line from Miracle Recreation Company has equipment that will accommodate any innovative idea.

A bridge-network of fun, this playground inspires play.

A bridge-network of fun, this playground inspires play.

These fully developed sites can of course be implemented as-is or used as a launching pad for a more customized design. Designers and landscape architects know that Miracle can cater to any need or specification and will bend over backwards to actualize any creative or forward-thinking concept. Playground technology advancements in the last ten years have been tremendous and there is no good reason a design should have to rely on the same items from a decade ago. At Miracle playsystems, modern and brand-new advancements are common place and imaginative ideas for sites are always being formulated and conceptualized.

Animal and nature inspired, the features on this playground jump out at you.

Animal and nature inspired, the features on this playground jump out at you.

So if you want a wild and wacky design, we have the one for you. If you crave a sharp and focused creation, we can finish it in streamlined fashion. If you desire a theme that is original and pleasantly daring, we can draw one up specifically for you. The system we use is specially designed for playscapes and our well-trained team can cater to any need. For playscape designs that are modern and unique, look to the Center Stage and to Miracle playsystems.

Cool as ice, this red wonder is extremely visually pleasing.

Cool as ice, this red wonder is extremely visually pleasing.

Attractive Technology Advances in Spray Parks

August 25, 2009

A Waterplay spray park is one avenue to coolness in this scorching summer and will be a ticket to heat relief next year too. Since 1987, Waterplay Solutions Corp. has done “thousands of park installations,” each one producing a unique water recreation experience for those who get outside and go visit the different mystified sites. Their innovative designs have advanced the options a designer can work with when implementing one of these contemporary attractions into a proposed site.

Getting soaked has never been so fun.

Getting soaked has never been so fun.

A spray park has the best of both worlds in that they offer a place to get wet and play, but there is no standing water so safety is substantially greater than a traditional water park. Also, it is more affordable for visitors because most likely it is located at a park or a free spot. The chance of slipping at a spray park decreases while the accessibility of the site increases. Other locations that are great for these wet and wild gems, and that Waterplay recommends, are housing developments, daycares, hotels, aquatic facilities, and most private and public spaces.

Ready, Aim, Water...

Ready, Aim, Water...

With features named the Tuney Tube, the Misty Twisty, and the Push N Play, Waterplay Solutions caters to many styles in fun ways and can even build systems with musical features. Beyond music, water canons are available and aim at giving kids the chance to dowse each other with H2O. Stationary water sprayers come in ring, flower, horn, and frog shapes and will impress any visitor with a variety of highly aesthetic color schemes.

Chill out and cool off under a flower shaped sprayer.

Chill out and cool off under a flower shaped sprayer.

Don’t forget to take shade breaks while out in the sun, regardless if you’re staying cool under the water the whole time. Also, a waterproof sun block will keep you safe from harmful rays while you get drenched. Spray parks, hopefully with picnic areas next to them, are great places for adults and kids to get outdoors and have fun in the sun…while getting a little wet, or completely soaked, in the process.

Techniques to Bring the Group Together with Park Additions

August 20, 2009

Often times playgrounds are complete in terms of equipment, but the full package still isn’t there. With a few more features though, the kids and the whole group will be entertained at a site. These extras are relatively small, but offer a family or group the ability to do activities all ages will enjoy. They also add benefits that allow the stay at a site to last many more hours so that the enjoyment of a nice day is taken to the max. Amenities like these turn a play destination into a full service recreation location…

The Super Park Grill is an expressway to great food.

The Super Park Grill is an expressway to great food.

The first addition allows the ability to cook food on site, so that energy levels are sustained and the outing doesn’t have to come to an abrupt end when stomachs begin to rumble. It is the grill, and Miracle Recreation Company offers models ranging from the small, Economy Park Grill to the bigger ones like the Heavy Duty Park Grill and the Super Park Grill. Stick whatever cuts or vegetables you like in a cooler on ice and take them straight to the park, just don’t forget the charcoal. By implementing cooking outlets into a park design, you give people the ability to grill up a little more fun.

The Heavy Duty Park Table can provide a place for a huge group to sit.

The Heavy Duty Park Table can provide a place for a huge group to sit.

Other park supplements allow these same patrons to sit down and enjoy the meal they have just fired up. These are the very essential park tables and benches. Relaxation is just as important as activity in an outdoor setting so providing a place to sit down for a minute and rest is crucial for a successful outing. Available from Miracle are huge 15 foot Heavy Duty Shelter Tables that will cater to a family of any size and also 8 foot rectangular tables and 38 inch square tables that will please a smaller group. A variety of benches are also available.

The Lion Drinking Fountain is the ideal watering station.

The Lion Drinking Fountain is the ideal watering station.

Of course, now after a short break and all that food, thirst has surely set in. Well, drinking fountains are readily available and are always a good idea, especially for those hotter areas. Standard fountains are out there, but truly original water stations are too and can stir up considerable attention—the Lion Drinking Fountain could provide this aesthetic boost. This playground feature can be incorporated into a theme with stunning results and can act as one of the site’s focal points. By incorporating food, rest, and water into a site, your design is sure to bring any group closer together.

Alternative Options for Park Funding

August 18, 2009

Public spaces are by no means disappearing, but as an article posted on the ASLA Dirt Blog states, private entities are increasingly looked at to fund new park projects due to the lack of public funds available. “Business improvement districts, park conservancies, and even private developers” are being relied upon to support parks on a national scale said J William Thompson, Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine. When the private sector has to step in to support public spaces it means that those spaces must be used as there own fundraisers, a practice with advantages and disadvantages. In a way these sites become self-sustaining—if the job gets done of course.

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In relation to California’s budget climate, public park funding dollars may diminish and private entities will have to provide aid if parks are to continue to offer the same level of service to the public sector. An article by Michael Seaman of the Planning Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation gives some advice on where else to turn for funding and increased resources. Other channels of revenue include “donations and volunteer support, grants, assessments of existing property, and impact fees on new developments.” Also listed is marketing to increase a park’s costumer base which would improve the donations and volunteer pool and also increase awareness for potential public-private collaborations and partnerships, which is another channel mentioned.

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With California’s national parks already in so much trouble, it is crucial for all to consider how we will pay for the maintenance of existing local parks and the constructing of new ones. As an article in the Huffington Post by Don Thompson says, parks are losing funding to cope with the huge budget deficit. There are options out there to turn this trend around, but action must be taken now so that parks don’t become few and far between.

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All it takes is a little ingenuity.

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Extra Features that Add Exciting Options

August 13, 2009

Beyond the main structure of a playground, there are many exciting features that add additional depth and versatility to a site. These elements not only add accessibility by increasing the amount of choices to play on, they also add to the aesthetic value by way of element diversity and also by increasing the site’s expansiveness. Having options will accommodate more children and will appease their differing opinions on the question: what was your favorite playground experience?

The Tire Swing offers 360 degree mobility.

The Tire Swing offers 360 degree mobility.

Remember what it was like to swing? Recall the back and forth, to and fro motion that could entertain for the entire duration of recess. Swings today are just as fun as they’ve always been. As far as equipment goes, the traditional belt swings are always a good choice, but a noticeable twist would be dropping in a tire swing where the belt would have been. Or, if sheer size is a must, a four bay—eight belt set could cater to many children at once. Either way, a swing set is one extra that will add considerable value to a playground.

The Four Bay, Eight Belt Set from Miracle Recreation Company.

The Four Bay, Eight Belt Set from Miracle Recreation Company.

Don’t under-estimate the power of sand. An underplayed playground extremity is the sandbox and it is sure to please younger children while keeping them a safe distance away from those twelve year olds that are horsing around. There are many styles of sandboxes available, such as a Therapeutic Sandbox model for children with special needs or a Timber framed sandbox—both from Miracle. A sandbox may sit on the outskirts of a site, but it will be the central destination for many children at play.

For those smaller kids, a sandbox opens up the imagination.

For those smaller kids, a sandbox opens up the imagination.

Slides are a playground main-stay. For hundreds of years—maybe more—slides have been giving those young thrill seekers an adrenaline outlet. Usually seen connected to a mega tower or play structure deck, slides are still very popular today. However, free-standing slides are also available. One amazing, stand alone model is the Flippo slide. It has three chutes and will really add that extra access needed for a congested site. The Flippo offers a great slide option and is one of those features that visitors remember.

The Free-Standing Flippo Slide with a Ladder increases accessibility greatly.

The Free-Standing Flippo Slide with a Ladder increases accessibility greatly.

No matter which extra, stand-alone features fill in the gaps of a site, the fact that they are there will automatically decongest the area and better the experience of those visiting the site.

Need some Inventive Playscape Ideas? Look to the Connections…

August 11, 2009

In today’s design climate, every detail counts. Many designs have the top play elements such as huge towers and giant slides, but what may separate a great design from an average one are the little things—the in-between features. Usually, simple methods are used to connect one element with another…how about making a connection something to remember?

Connect with the Double Grip-and-Glide.

Connect with the Double Grip-and-Glide.

Overhead Climbers from Miracle Recreation Company are unique in design and push the old tradition of zip lines to new, safer limits. Instead of a walkway between elements, imagine a Double Grip-n-Glide connecting two decks. Kids will gain an experience just gliding across the not-so-treacherous divide that separates them from their friend, never mind what exciting elements are on either side . This cool feature allows two children to swing out above bark chips at once and with a little momentum, they will have a blast racing each other to the next adventure.

Almost Hidden Here, the Hoop Loop is an Unexpected Link Everywhere.

Almost Hidden Here, the Hoop Loop is an Unexpected Link Everywhere.

Of course, offering variety on a play site is crucial to a well-rounded design. Well-rounded doesn’t have to mean boring though. Switch it up and try filling in that gap with a Hoop Loop. This contraption tests a kid’s balance and scaling abilities. Make every connection an entertaining one that offers a challenge and an original encounter. The Dipwalk Bridge for example is a simple touch that can produce big rewards in terms of fun.

If It wasn't so Fun, the Dipwalk might go Unoticed.

If It wasn't so Fun, the Dipwalk might go Unoticed.

Well, maybe a bridge is in the plans after all. Consider the differences between the Golden Gate Bridge and say, the San Mateo Bridge. Both accomplish their designed duty, but one is a bit more memorable while doing so. Scrap that predictable, run of the mill creation—go with a swinging bridge or something entirely different like the Big Kahuna Bridge. It’s a fish, bridge hybrid that offers a nearly on of a kind experience for kids. The impressive detailing, and color options make the Big Kahuna a captivating selection and playground center-piece.

Be Remarkably Original with the Big Kahuna.

Be Remarkably Original with the Big Kahuna.

Treat every connection like a place to play.

Advancing Activity through Cutting-Edge, Mammoth Designs

August 6, 2009

Getting kids up off the couch and back outside when it comes time to play may be harder than once thought. However, the implementation of creative ideas can combat sedentary life styles. For instance, playgrounds are an alternative to sofa surfing. Through innovation and extremely cutting-edge playground equipment, it is fathomable that most children will be willing to turn in those video game controllers in exchange for slide rides and wall climbs. So what forward thinking designs will encourage those youths of the next generation to un-plug? One thought is to truly utilize some of the best technology out there—that isn’t tied to an electrical cord.

The HAGS Assaril

The HAGS Assaril

HAGS not only offers small features that upgrade playgrounds quickly, the company also offers more MEGA styles of playgrounds that will undoubtedly entice even the most reluctant of kids. As pictured above, the HAGS Assaril is one idea of a mega-play structure that can of course be molded and shaped to fit more exact specifications. This massive design has everything from climbers and slides to tunnels and overhead obstacles. Below is the HAGS Karamata, a true behemoth. This production is equipped with six covered, tower-like decks and has an intricate network of bridges and connectors between them all. Both the Assaril and the Karamata are from the HAGS Uniplay line. And better yet, these are only examples, the Miracle Playsystems Design Team can take these designs to an even higher level.

The HAGS Karamata

The HAGS Karamata

A different line altogether from HAGS, the Agito line, offers more selections of the mammoth playground designs. The HAGS Tano for example is a flowing, curving stroke of genius. Offering many balance obstacles and twist and turn movement features, most children will want to come back and enjoy it again and again—especially if the HAGS Cyclone is added in.

The HAGS Tano

The HAGS Tano

Here it is…

The HAGS Cyclone

The HAGS Cyclone

One more mega style is the HAGS Flow, which looks like an artificial spider-web of climbing and overhead features.  Complete with Glider and Rodeo options, the Flow is a terrific showcase of design craftsmanship from HAGS.  Pictured below, it also has a Punch Punch bag and the black spheres pictured are parts of the Trunk, Branch, and Wiggler—which are climbing features. All of these great design choices will be attractive, fun, and highly entertaining for children who are tempted enough to get up, get out, and get playing.

The HAGS Flow

The HAGS Flow


New Designs and Innovations Push Shade into High Supply

August 4, 2009

With summer in full force now, time outside is to be especially appreciated. However much you appreciate the perks of the outdoors though, you must also plan accordingly to decrease the dangers of the sun’s harmful rays. The most obvious relief methods are among the most helpful. Wearing sunscreen or a hat and taking shade breaks are always necessary when dealing with high temperatures. Also, wearing loose, covering clothing with tightly woven fabrics will prevent burns as Sun Damage Clinics’ website says. Of course, children are not always so aware of these measures so it’s crucial that adults look after their wellbeing. In terms of playgrounds, there are many things a designer can implement straight into a sight’s production to increase protection from the sun.

Shade Structures are Vital to Playground Safety

Shade Structures are Vital to Playground Safety

Many styles of shade accessories are available from Sun Ports. These come in an almost endless array of colors and shapes. Furthermore, specific models are better suited for different tasks, such as the Life Guard series which caters to the needs of those red clad guardians and also poolside sunbathers. For those larger areas, including covering the entire playground, the series named Super Span will best suffice. If something entirely original is desired, Custom Designs always make for a fantastic choice. This option allows for even the most creative ideas.

Part of the Life Guard Series from Sun Ports

Part of the Life Guard Series from Sun Ports

Back to the colors and shapes, ready to go are Pyramids, Octagons, Pentagons, and the Coolbrella design, among a vast variety of others, in shades of blue, yellow, red, green, and most any other color one can dream up. Again, if the existing styles don’t quite do the trick, custom designs can be drawn up. No matter which way your way is, sun protection is a necessity in today’s increasingly hot climate. It’s a fact that the ozone isn’t what it used to be, so be sure to include a shade structure in your next playground design, especially if the site is in a particularly scorching area.

A Custom Designed 3-Point Sail Masterpiece

A Custom Designed 3-Point Sail Masterpiece

Get out there and enjoy the sun, just make sure to be safe about it.

A Super Span Structure Covering a Playground

A Super Span Structure Covering a Playground