low budget playground material

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    Cliff See

    hi, would anybody know an inexpensive base for a large school playground? mostly volleyball and basketball, surrounded by classrooms etc. It’s for children in Ethiopia, primary school, and I dont know who there to ask. Maybe a compacted, permeable crushed stone. They initially wanted lawn, but i imagine it turning to dirt and mud rather quickly! (There is actually a lot of water in this area). Maybe you know a person familiar with playgrounds, thanks… cliff

    Denis Vasiliev

    I know one person who can sell low buget but not bad quality playground material. His name is Norman Fevralevs he works in the company KSIL Baltic in Latvia. His contacts: phone.  +371 67 54 65 81 mob. +371 28330882 and e-mail normands@ksil.lv/


    Barbara Peterson

    In the US, the main base materials seen in playgrounds (considering here the “playground” area, an area which has play equipment and is not a sports field) include: (the loose fill materials) sand, pea gravel, wood mulch, engineered wood fiber, shredded / recyled rubber, and (the unitary surfacing materials) poured-in-place rubber and rubber tiles.  I’ve listed the materials in order of lowest to highest impact attenuation therefore a fall onto the ones at the “end” are less likely to cause serious head injury.

    Materials that are considered inappropriate include mainly due to increased injury including head trauman, broken bones, and lack of impact attenuation: concrete, asphalt, dirt (hard packed earth), grass, and CCA (chromated copper arsenate – an insecticide / poison).

    For a playground area there, have you considered either sand or pea gravel?  Sand volleyball pits are quite comment here. The main drawback is that some animals like to deficate in sand…esp cats.

    For the basketball area, if you cannot use asphalt or concrete, would a graded, sloped compacted dirt surface work?  I’ve never used or seen a crushed stone surface on a sports area or playground.  I would be concerned that a fall might result in more cuts because it will not be “smooth”.

    If you would like more information about playground safety, go on-line and download this publication: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/325.pdf . It is a US Consumer Product Safety Commission publication based ASTM guidelines and covers playground sufacing and equipment.  It has some useful very information.

    I do not know anyone in Africa but perhaps contact Operation Playground (http://www.operationplayground.org ): they have built some playgrounds in Kenya. Perhaps they will be able to help you also.

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