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Creating a Safer School Playground in Hawaii

Posted on in Playground Surfaces, Synthetic Turf International.

Synthetic Turf International Playground grass

Synthetic Turf International Hoaloha Playground

With the Centers for Disease Control estimating that obesity rates among children younger than five have doubled over the last two decades, a growing number of schools and day care facilities are creating more outdoor play opportunities for the kids they serve.

Take for example the Hoaloha Kai Montessori School in Honolulu, Hawaii, a private school that serves children from the age of two months through sixth grade.  A significant portion of their students are between three to six years old.  While they recognized the importance of playing outside, the school faced the challenge of limited space and equally limited funds. Initially they compromised by converting the back parking area into a playground using a wooden freestanding unit over foam padding but it wasn’t up to industry safety guidelines. After enrollment and funds increased, they turned to Synthetic Turf International (STI) distributor NyLawn to construct a new, safer playground using their synthetic turf that would create more play value, aesthetic appeal and maximize the limited surface area.

“The play space required some much needed improvements to bring it up to a safe and professional looking facility,” noted Rory Otto, President of NyLawn. “We wanted to create a beautiful playground that protected the ‘Keiki,’ which is Hawaiian for kids.”

NyLawn came up with a Miracle 2-5 YO custom structure with curved edge Fall Zone and an exciting color scheme. They used a thick recycled foam underlayment with STI’s SoftLawn and sand/rubber infill, which created a critical fall height over eight feet. Installers followed the ASTM 1487 and CPSC Guidelines to be sure the perimeter met or exceeded the Use Zone of the equipment as well. Finally a race track painted around the perimeter for the Keiki to ride their tricycles on and NyLawn created an additional outdoor play space for the younger children’s area that enhanced curb appeal.

Today, preschoolers eagerly look forward to playing outside and parents are equally thrilled by the safe synthetic turf surface that protects their children.

“The new synthetic grass play area and wall has added to our curb appeal and prompted families to inquire about our school,” noted Hoku Chong, Director of Admissions at the Hoaloha Kai Montessori School. She also felt that one of their students expressed it most eloquently of all in stating “‘our courtyard is much more safe and awesome now!”