Each Sunday a new Sneak Peek into the playground will be shared.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Umbrella, Seating & Weenotes June 27th, 2021
We will have THREE cantilever umbrellas. One will be over our large main play structure and two will be located over our picnic tables. These umbrellas will be tree frog green, such a fun color! Under these umbrellas we have purchased one 8’ long extra heavy duty double sided accessible picnic table, colored sky blue with champagne legs. These colors are a perfect match to our playground colors.
Have you ever been to a playground/park where there is no place to sit? I know I have! Sometimes the little children need a place to rest or just watch. When seating is scarce, adults may find a seat on the swings or ramps just for a place to rest and watch their children play. However, this takes away these items for the children to enjoy. They will not ask an adult to move. At Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground, that will NOT be a problem! We have ten, six foot long Tuffclad benches scattered around the equipment. Some of our benches will have backs and some will be without. One very special bench, our Buddy Bench will be featured soon. We tried to make sure that every play area has a bench. Each of these eleven benches have been sponsored by a loving person or family. They will have dedication plaques attached to them shortly after install. Even the company making these plaques will be doing it in-kind for us! Our ten benches will be silver/gray to match the ramp system on the playground. Nobody wants a hot bench to sit on. Yikes!
Now what playground would be complete without music? We have purchased from Freenotes Harmony Park, their most popular Weenotes Ensemble. This American made company is located in Chattanooga, TN. We will have the Merry, Griffin, and the Piper notes to be exact. These will be in-ground mounted and will not be going anywhere. Each instrument with come with an attached inclusive mallet. Freenotes Instruments were originally developed by Grammy Award winning musician Richard Cooke in 1995. Please read more about this wonderful company, The Story found here. You can also listen to the different sounds, the Griffin Example found here. Here is the Piper being played, and Now the Merry
If the sky was the limit I would have filled this park with many more instruments! This trio was designed to be played one at a time or all three. As they say, NO wrong notes – just close your eyes and listen.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Poured in Place – rubber surfacing June 20th, 2021
I (Susan Monegan, FPG President) have always wanted the best long lived, easy care, and safest surfacing for our children. There is a reason you do not see many playgrounds with the Poured-n-Place rubber. That is the cost – AND yes this is Fields Playground Group’s BIGGEST expense. We will have 10,605 square feet of Poured-n-Place rubber surfacing on, Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground. Our colors will be a nice grass green and a lighter shade of blue. These two colors will divide up our play areas. You may recall, a few months back we had a generous donation from two wonderful men from our local community. This generous donation was the turning point for our group. In order to put in our playground this year after COVID shut us down last year, we almost had to go with the engineered wood fiber. Our board weighed a tough decision 1.) have a playground now for the children with wood fiber mulch or 2.) continue to raise the money for the rubber surfacing…not knowing when we would have our playground. These two quiet donors made our Dreams really come true! Without their generous $200,000 personal donation we would have needed to go with the wood fiber mulch. Not only would this have been less appealing and more upkeep, it would not have been as accessible for many of our children with special needs.
According to our equipment and installation company, Game Time, there are so many perks to this form of surfacing. One of the biggest perks is ensuring the safety of the children playing on our playground. According to GameTime, “Poured in place rubber also known as PIP playground surfacing, is made mainly from recycled rubber. Essentially, it’s a rubber surface application poured on a playground instead of loose mulch, sand, gravel or other materials used to prevent injuries on playgrounds. When installed, its thickness depends on the fall height requirements for each unique playground application allowing optimal safety for anyone using the playground equipment…The thickness of the layers is determined after inspection of the playground to ensure all standards and safety thresholds are met or exceeded”.
Safety and maintenance go hand in hand. This type of surfacing keeps the playground stable and flat. It is long lasting and virtually maintenance free. It is also customizable to match specific equipment and color schemes with limitless design opportunities. Not to mention, the installed Poured in Place rubber playground surfaces meets all requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ASTM Determination of Playground Surface Accessibility. This gives us the peace of mind that we are giving the children the best we possibly can. We are so glad to share this amazing feature this week and highlight all the boxes it checks: safety – check, design – check, accessibility – check…now who is ready to play?!?
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Spinnin’, Whirlin’ and Rockin’ June 13th, 2021
If you have been checking in every Sunday as we take you around our playground you may have noticed we put things in sections that are similar to their action. This section I like to call our Silly Spin section. We liked it so much we gave it its own place!
We have TWO Sensory Wave Spinning Seats. I think these are going to be so popular that we just had to have two. Our colors that we chose are brighter here. Same colors as our Ability Whirl right next door. We wanted to make sure our children with visual impairments could see the two spinning chairs going in opposite directions and know to stay back. As you can see we have placed a bench in this area for those who have to wait their turn or an adult to supervise. Our colors are Red with yellow handles and we swapped the other seat to yellow with red handles. We invested in the 5-point harness kit. We wanted little children as well as those who may need the extra support to be able to spin too. Who does not like to spin? We sure do!
So now we have a sky blue Whirlin’ Robin. This one sits closer to the ground for our little children. If you look close, TWO little ones will fit inside this one. We didn’t forget you little guys.
Now on to our very very special Rockin’ Robin. Color brown just like an egg. Look closely, can you see the cracks on the outside like a baby chick is about to hatch? This one does not spin. It ROCKS back and forth. Some children may just need to rock and not spin. We got ya covered guys!
We hope you enjoy this special little Spinnin’, Whirlin’ and Rockin’, place!
For additional information on the importance to spinning for some please see the GameTime Article!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – AbilityWhirl June 6th, 2021
So this Sunday’s Sneak Peek Sunday brings us to my MOST favorite piece of equipment. The AbilityWhirl from the UK.
Let me [Susan Monegan – FPG President] share with you how we found this piece and what makes it so special. Fields Playground Group’s soul mission has always been to find pieces of equipment that would accommodate as many children at a time, no matter what their ages or abilities. The more the merrier as they say. It took us three years to raise the money, order and await the delivery of our AbilityWhirl.
On May 28th, 2021, it finally arrived to East Manufacturing’s loading docks in Randolph, Ohio. Just right across the street from our playground and it’s future permanent home! Here they lovingly unloaded it and are storing it for us until we get the call from Gametime that our playground is ready for install. Whoo Hooo!
Aaron Jones from GL Jones Playgrounds actually filmed the making of our AbilityWhirl just for us. In the video below you will see the process it takes to make one of these very special pieces. BUT this one is ours! Our colors on this piece will be: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. A rainbow of spinning fun!
The second video you will see will show you the AbilityWhirl in the UK in action. I want you to also notice the baby stroller on the opposite wheelchair section. Did we say the more the merrier? Yep, this is what makes this one my favorite piece.
From humble beginnings in a small village set in the picturesque surroundings of Snowdonia, GL Jones Playground products can now be seen in all corners of the British Isles and are even found as far afield as Australia and NOW in Randolph Township Ohio the USA!
We will be making our own video to share from Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground as soon as we are spinning. We can’t wait for Aaron Jones, from GL Jones Playgrounds to see our children’s smiling faces from ‘across the pond’.
Enjoy the videos, Susan Monegan – FPG President
The AbilityWhirl is a merry-go-round that is flush to the ground for easy wheelchair access. The second of its kind in the state of Ohio, this is a UK-developed piece of handicapped accessible playground equipment from GL. Jones The first AbilityWhirl is located over 200 miles from Northeast Ohio in Cincinnati.
Since its launch in the year 2000 the award winning AbilityWhirl has been installed in countless play areas, schools, hospices and hospitals in all corners of the world, proving that the innovative design and high quality products are universally recognized. This roundabout is fitted flush to the ground for easy access of wheelchairs and pushchairs. It has two wheelchair stations, standing space and two seats, with the option of a toddler seat with support ring.GL Jones Playgrounds
East Manufacturing Corporation has been a part of the Randolph community for fifty three years and their manufactured aluminum trailers can be spotted across the country! The business sits on 127 acres in the heart of our Township. Fields Playground Group reached out to East Manufacturing early in our playground endeavors to share our exciting project and discuss ways they could be involved. As a community oriented and focused corporation, they did not hesitate to oblige with a generous monetary donation. East Manufacturing has remained involved and helpful throughout our project.
Recently we were in need of a place to accept and store a large piece of our equipment that was traveling over from the UK. We reached out again to East Manufacturing, this time asking for assistance with our Ability Whirl. This 2000 pound piece of equipment needs a safe place to land until we are ready to install it at the playground. East Manufacturing didn’t hesitate to assist with clearing space in the warehouse for our delivery. Not only did they offer to accept, unload and store the piece, they also offered to deliver the Ability Whirl to the playground site that is situated directly across one of the employee entrances once we’re ready for it. We want to genuinely thank East Manufacturing Corp for being a force we can count on matter the request, big or small. Thank you for being the heart of our community both geographically and figuratively!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Global Motion May 23rd, 2021
The Global Motion has a patented two-tiered seating structure in the center for children with special needs to sit, with the outside of the globe constructed of climbing ropes for climbing and hanging. The entire structure spins. This is a newly patented piece of inclusive playground equipment from Landscape Structures. Our colors are as pictured below limon and silver! Check out the video linked here to see it in motion – we’ll just let you see it for yourself! We love watching these kidos climb, rotate, and explore on this two tiered feature piece of play equipment! We can’t wait to see it “in motion” at Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground, this summer!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post- Sensory Sensory Cover Climber and the Honeycomb May 16, 2021
Sensory Cover Climber (Triangle): Children use the Sensory Cove Climber as a quiet space to rest, relax and gather with friends. It’s the perfect place to observe play from a distance until you are ready to join in, or a sensory-relief area, when necessary. More than a seating and gathering area, this versatile product doubles as a climbing activity! Our sensory climber will be Sky Blue with Spring Green supports.
Honeycomb – Set of 6: Play areas will be abuzz as children venture into the honeycomb to discover the exciting world of bees. This play pocket favorite promotes imaginative play as children climb from cell to cell, or gather to socialize with friends. The tactile hexagonal designs provide sensory benefits as children learn about the realistic honeycomb shapes, and the side view ports allow visibility into and out of the honeycomb to promote interactive play with parents or with other children. The Honeycomb will “bee” a hit in any play area! Our colors are the same as this picture. Brown with butterscotch climbers. We think this will be a great hideout!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – RoxAll See Saw & Zip Line May 9th, 2021
Our RoxAll See Saw for All! Our RoxAll See Saw features high-backed seats with side rails to provide extra support for users of all abilities. The center saucer is at transfer height for additional inclusive play options. This piece of equipment will hold 2 to 5 children, versus a standard see saw that would only hold 2. Two of our seats will be in Periwinkle and two in Sky Blue. The metal frame is Butterscotch. We wanted the children to see you do not need four people to enjoy this piece. Sometimes there may be just the two of you. That works too!
We have a 53 feet long Sky Run Zip Track with an Add-a-Track -this means two tracks side by side! Our support frame color is Starlight and the overhead rails will be Champagne. Track #1 will have a saucer seat and Track #2 will hold a 5 to 12 Zero-G-Swing. The Zip saucer seat on track #1 is in Black. The Zero-G seat on Track #2 is Red with a Yellow harness. We chose this color for our visually impaired children. Watch out for zipping chairs!
We will have our launch pads in Grey to match our Powerscape ramps. We will place a bench on the outside of the sidewalk near the Zip Line for anxious riders to wait their turns. We know at some parks children will stand on the launch ramps and crowd out the riders coming and going. Oh that’s no fun.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Prime Time Swing set May, 2nd, 2021
Mila’s Hope & Rowyn’s Dreams Playground will have a large PrimeTime Swingset with 8 swings, featuring 4 different types of swings for children (and adults!) of all ages and abilities. Each pair of swings is a different color to showcase their unique features. The ADA PrimeTime Swing Frame color is Champagne. Our goal was to keep the swing set frame neutral for our autistic children and put the colors and focus on the swings.
Our Expression swing is GameTime’s first face-to-face, eye-to-eye playground swing that promotes attunement, or emotional bonding, between users. This is a patented piece for GameTime, our playground manufacturer. We loved it so much we bought two! We chose the color Butterscotch.
Next up we have two Zero-G chair swings for children ages 2 to 5. These swings are Green and the harnesses are Yellow. A lot of playgrounds we have seen would save money by buying just the larger swing size. We found in our experience that the little children cannot see over the harness and they slide around inside the swing. To some children this scares them. Notice on this swing and our next ones that the harnesses are different and are age appropriate.
Next up we have larger Zero-G swings for children ages 5 to 12. The swing color is Periwinkle, and the harness is Yellow. The children will learn after their first visit which one is their perfect size! That was the reason we chose two different colors.
Last but not least we departed from the norm that you normally see on playgrounds. We chose two NextGen seat swings. Adults love to swing also – I sure do! As anyone that has had the uncomfortable experience of trying to swing in a belt swing would tell you, these black horizontal seats are much more comfortable! In our experience children will take something and come up with 3 to 4 different ideas we would never have thought of on how to use a swing. These swings allow that imagination! They can stand on it and swing (trust me they will), littler ones can lie across it and push with their feet, and adults can now swing in comfort. I plan on it!
Now one last thing that most playgrounds never think about, but we did. It cost us extra to install anti-wrap swing hangers on the two seat swings. If anyone that is still school age can attest, it is frustrating to come out for recess to see your swings wrapped around the top of the swing frame. Easy for someone to do this but not easy to unwrap! We didn’t want any of the children to come to this park and find out they could not swing, or an adult that could not get the swings unwrapped safely. No worries, the anti-wrap rollers will prevent the swings from being wound around the top bar – the swings will always be ready for any child or adult to enjoy!
Lastly, we want to thank every individual, parent and family who lovingly sponsored all 8 of these swings for our children! One of the Expression swings and one 5-12 Zero-G swings was bought in honor of specific swing-loving children – Mila and Max – lucky children! Each swing’s cost included the swing, anti-wrap hangers, and swing frame plus the professional labor to install this swing set, purchased with lots of Love.
Stay tuned for next Sunday’s Sneak Peek!
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – The Importance of Color April 25th, 2021
Deciding on a color scheme for a children’s playground seems like a fun and easy task. Most people would automatically think of bright bold colors. In all actuality, it’s a bit more complicated. There are many things to consider when making color selections.
The equipment needs to be visually appealing to all types of eyes. Visually-impaired individuals need high contrast colors to denote changes in elevation. With that being said, some visually impaired individuals may pause or stumble at distinct color changes. For instance, when Mila is walking, she will pause and oftentimes misjudge surfaces that have contrasting colors. If she maneuvers from dark blacktop onto gray cement, she will stop and physically feel the ground with her foot. To her, the color change means the surface is different and possibly not at the same height. She doesn’t have the ability to quickly see it’s all the same level and just a different color.
When picking the playground structure colors, we wanted to utilize very saturated colors without them becoming over-stimulating. For instance, a bright red color is a great contrasting color to aid visually impaired individuals, but it can also be overwhelming for autistic people. We picked a neutral gray material for all the main decking on the play structure. This neutral base will allow us to use a narrow yellow stripe to denote steps and elevation changes. The gray color will also reduce some of the absorbed heat from the sun.
We decided to use bright blue as the color choice for the slides and climbing structures. Blue is a soothing color to a lot of individuals with sensory needs such as autism. It also won’t get as hot as some darker colors. Safety is our number one priority. Sliding down a sunbaked slide can be very painful. Oftentimes kids won’t think to feel the slide before they sit down on it.
The uprights will be the bright spring green color. Again for safety, having brightly colored support beams will reduce the hazard of running into them.
Finally, the metal rails and posts will all be the periwinkle purple color. The purple will pop against the gray decking, blue plastic slides, and the green uprights. Being able to instruct a visually-impaired individual to hold on to the purple rails both teaches them colors, and also gives them a sense of consistent safety.
One of the highest causes for playground accidents is poor visibility on elevation changes. The change from a level walking surface to steps may be a hazard for the visually impaired persons. Clearly marking the forward edge of each step is crucial to reduce tripping accidents. Each stair tread will be marked with a high contrasting color of yellow. ‘Safety yellow’ has been found to be the most visually detectable color. Our play structure will combine safety yellow striping on contrasting dark gray decking. Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams playground will be the FIRST playground in the US that is designed by Gametime with this visual striping on our Powerscape play structure! This custom piece will be made out of marine grade yellow paint. We may be the FIRST but I bet not the last! We are honored to have been sponsored from various local Lions Clubs on this cost.
Sunday Sneak Peek Post – Award Winning April 18th, 2021
The new Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground at Old School Park in Randolph, coming in Summer 2021, has received two awards as National Demonstration Sites. The National Demonstration Sites Network is led by PlayCore:
PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research, and Education (CORE) leads the National Demonstration Site Network as an important effort for raising national awareness and helping local communities share the positive impact they are making on community health and wellness. The initiative serves as an exclusive opportunity to participate in ongoing data collection, and receive a complete research findings report on your community’s vitality. National Demonstration Sites illustrate community vitality across a variety of influences, including social-emotional, environmental, health, community engagement, public services, and educational opportunities.
National Demonstration Sites (NDS) exemplify evidence-based best practices in design and implementation, support health-related initiatives, and provide meaningful ways for community stakeholders to gather data about the sites’ impact on the community. There are five NDS programs that help communities turn research into practice in local park destinations. Choose to utilize one or a combination of NDS designations to thoughtfully support playful pathways, nature play, adult fitness, youth physical activity, and inclusion in outdoor play and recreation settings.
Our new playground will be a National Demonstration Site for 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design. To learn more, check out: https://www.playcore.com/research/inclusion
Our playground will also be a National Demonstration Site for Play ON! Promoting Physical Activity. To learn more, check out: https://www.playcore.com/research/youth-fitness
Mila’s Hope and Rowyn’s Dreams Playground will be only the third playground in the entire state of Ohio to have two NDS Awards!