I was very pleased to see on USA Today a story about the increasing trend towards natural play spaces - www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2010-04-22-EARTH_GreenPlaygrounds22_ST_N.htm?csp=34.
The article highlights some of the conflicting views of playground equipment manufacturers and natural play space advocates.
It should not have to be an either/or argument. In most circumstances, using a combination of manufactured equipment within a well-designed landscape can provide optimum benefits - that can also ensure children's safety remains paramount.
The article's final comment by Linda Cain Ruth does highlight the importance of maintenance and that the importance of implementing a rigorous maintenance schedule cannot be overstated. Whether the playground consists of all natural elements, manufactured equipment or a combination of both, playground managers must ensure that playgrounds are inspected for hazards regularly and that any necessary repairs are carried out promptly.
Families can also play a part in this. If there is anything that looks hazardous at the playground, let the playground manager know as soon as possible.