Security Benefit in Topeka, KS, provides child care for their employees’ children and grandchildren. In 2002, when this facility moved to its current location, the three playgrounds had a combination of poured-in-place surfacing, rubber mulch, grass and wood mulch.
With the number of children and the amount of time spent outdoors, the poured-in-place surfacing began to fail. After a few repairs, the facility decided to remove this and replace it with wood mulch.
Playground Surfacing Issues
The facility’s staff knew putting down the wood mulch was just a temporary fix while they worked on a more permanent playground plan. The goal was to create more of an outdoor learning space for the children. However, during the planning several surfacing issues arose, such as:
- Natural grass was not an option; it would wear down too quickly with the kids constant playing on it.
- Removing the poured-in-place surfacing also meant that the trike paths for the children had been removed.
At this point, the decision was made to bring ABCreative in to help. At the end of the planning discussions, the best solution was seen to be Playground Grass by ForeverLawn artificial turf system. Playground Grass Ultra has anti-microbial and anti-static in the actual blades and the turf and fall attenuation padding system is designed specifically for playgrounds.
Creating an Outdoor Learning Space
The child care facility, located in a beautiful area with lots of green space, ponds with ducks and geese and plenty of wildlife, has three playgrounds: infant to 2-year-olds, 2- to 3-year-olds, and 3- to 5-year-olds.
ABCreative and ForeverLawn Kansas City developed a turnkey project plan for the facility, which included:
- Demolition of the site, removing and hauling off existing equipment, re-grading the playground areas and removing the old surface.
- Installing Playground Grass Ultra by ForeverLawn plus a 1” closed cell foam safety pad underneath the turf in all three playgrounds, a total of 4,239 sq. ft.
- Providing different surfacing textures for the children to experience. While the primary playground surfacing is Playground Grass, other types of surfaces helped complete the playgrounds, including wood mulch and a concrete area with nice stone.
- Installing sidewalks and concrete trike paths (big enough for the children to go fast!).
- Installing a shade canopy for the infant play area and paint panels in all three playgrounds.
- Building a custom berm with a crawl tunnel in the 3- to 5-year-old playground for the children to crawl, climb, roll and slide on.
The best part? The kids love it!
The ABCreative Experience
We really love to work with local companies because it serves our communities well. Karen at ABCreative was wonderful to work with.
The ForeverLawn Kansas City Experience
The guys doing the install of the surface were wonderful. They asked questions like, ‘What do you think about this?’ or ‘The picture was drawn this way, but would it be better for the kids if we did this?’ and ‘Are the easels the right height?’ They were all very attentive, careful and spot on with everything. We really appreciated all of this and we can say we have a very functional, beautiful, great outdoor learning center.