Protect Your Perimeter with Planters

Let’s face it! The risks are immediately obvious when foot traffic is side-by-side with vehicle traffic. Installing a fence or concrete barrier can ruin the ambience and, in some cases, make the public feel insecure or unsafe. Using planters as an option for crowd control and property barriers provides added security with a touch of nature. They can be modified to match your existing architectural design.

Decorative concrete planters are an aesthetically pleasing option over more rigid types of security barriers. They can be filled with several types of trees, flowering bushes, shrubs, or ornamental greenery to be enjoyed by pedestrians and soften the feel of an otherwise concrete jungle cityscape.

Concrete planters are used at government and military facilities. They are placed throughout college campuses to separate bike traffic from those on foot. Storefronts are also an ideal location for planters. They help provide a pedestrian safe entrance into the building. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s easy to add the perfect combination of traffic control, safety precautions and beauty to your space!

If you need concrete planters, give us a call today!

ParknPool | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

The Importance of Site Amenities for Your Park

What are site amenities?

Site amenities are all the additional features that add value and benefits to your park by enhancing visitors’ enjoyment and providing them with comfort. These site amenities are essential for any park or recreational space.

The following are just a few of the best options when it comes to choosing what your park needs:

Benches

Sprinkling benches throughout your park provides patrons with a place to sit during a break from their pickup game of dodgeball, to simply do some birdwatching or to keep an eye on their children enjoying the playground.

Trash Receptacles

If there was a site amenity that is a must, it would be this one! No one wants to visit a park or recreational space that looks like a landfill. Trash receptacles should be available for visitors to dispose of their gum wrappers, soda bottles and lunch break trash.

Bike Racks

Depending on where your park is located, you may see a lot of bicycle traffic. These visitors will need somewhere to park their mode of transportation while they play. If a suitable rack is not provided, they may choose to lay their bike down or tether them to something unsafe. Choose bike racks that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing to your space.

Picnic Tables

This site amenity can be added to your park or recreational space by placing them throughout or by creating a general space with picnic tables, a couple of park grills and a shade structure for visitors to escape sudden inclement weather.

What if your park had no site amenities?

Let us take a moment to imagine your park without any site amenities. In the beginning, you might get away with it but after a while…

…the trash starts to accumulate attracting animals and bugs…
…bicycles are being reported as stolen…
…and playgrounds become deserted…

You have just created a space that no one can enjoy! Don’t do that! Give us a call today!

ParknPool | Lexington, VA |sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

Learn the Facts and How to Prevent Bleacher Injuries

Did you know?

} Over 20,000 people are hurt annually in accidents involving bleachers.

} A large percentage of bleacher accidents are a result of a person falling from or through the bleachers.

} Many bleacher accidents involve children.

} Falls from bleachers typically occur when guardrails are missing from the back or sides of bleachers, creating openings.

} Many bleachers in facilities today were built and installed prior to CPSC guidelines, creating potential hazards.

To prevent falls, your bleachers should meet the following criteria:

} A bleacher should have a guardrail along the back and surrounding the open ends where the drop is more than 30″ to the ground below.

} The guardrail should be at least 42″ high and, if using a vertical picket guardrail, all openings should be small enough that a 4″ sphere cannot fit through.

} If a chain link guardrail is used, it is recommended to use chain link that has 1.25″ (or less) mesh to discourage kids from climbing.

} Where visibility would not be significantly impaired, use solid materials to block openings.

Maybe RETROFITTING your existing bleachers is more feasible for your budget:

} The current condition and structure of your bleachers will determine the materials and methods needed to retrofit.

} Make sure that the materials and methods being used for the retrofit do not introduce any new hazards.

} Features such as aisles, handrails, and surfacing should be added to any retrofit project.

} Rigid materials, such as aluminum, should be used to close any openings between the seating and footboards.

} Using chain link fencing material can introduce new hazards and encourage children to play or climb on it.

} Consult your local building officials to determine if a permit is needed in order to retrofit bleachers.

Whether you’re retrofitting current bleachers or ordering replacement ones, they should be carefully inspected at least once every three months to identify any damage to the structure.

ParknPool offers numerous bleacher options that fall into three categories:

} Permanent Grandstands:

} Portable (Stationary):

} Temporary (Tip N’ Roll):

It is crucial to follow CPSC’s guidelines. No one’s safety is worth risking by leaving outdated bleachers in place! Give us a call today!

ParknPool | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

Learn the Facts and How to Prevent Playground Injuries

Did you know?

> 200,000+ ER visits occur annually for injuries sustained on playgrounds.

> Nearly 70% of accidents occur on public playgrounds.

> 15 child fatalities occur from playground equipment each year.

> 79% of all playground injuries involve falls.

> Children ages 5 to 9 are the most at-risk group.

Playgrounds, especially public ones, are great spaces for kids to get some fresh air, make new friends, have some fun and burn off the excess energy. As someone that oversees your public playground, it’s important to make sure faulty equipment, improper surfaces or unsafe behavior doesn’t turn a good day in to an emergency room visit.

The following equipment is responsible for the most injuries:

Parental guide for preventing playground injuries:

} Always Supervise Playtime – kids under 5 should be supervised at all times. Make sure you are positioning yourself so that you can maintain a visual line of sight on them!

} Dress children appropriately for playtime – loose clothing and drawstrings are hazardous. Make sure kids wear shoes or sneakers at the playground to protect their feet.

} Choose age-appropriate play equipment – older and younger children should play in separate areas. Toddlers are unable to use metal swings, seesaws or slides safely on their own.

} Ensure playground surfaces are safe – sand, wood chips, pea gravel and synthetic rubber mulch are best. Blacktops and concrete are not recommended. The length of soft surfacing under swings should be double the height of the swing set.

} Only visit well-maintained playgrounds – look out for sharp points or edges in equipment. Inspect the playground (especially a sandbox) for splintered wood, broken glass, sharp metal, uncovered chains, loose bolts, wet spots, or missing ladder rungs. Inspection is key ! All playground equipment should be inspected and maintained regularly.

Looking for more helpful playground information or planning on replacing outdated and unsafe playground equipment? Give us a call! We can safely say we are here to help make sure your kids can safely play!

ParknPool | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

Working Together to Minimize Park Trash

What do visitors see when they come to your park? A clean and well-maintained park provides a safe haven for people to enjoy some of their favorite outdoor activities. Hopefully, your park visitors see a clean and inviting environment that welcomes them to stay for a while.

Keeping your park free of trash and debris is an important way to give back to your green space. Providing the right amenities so that your park’s patrons can help, is a great place to start!

3 questions when encouraging the disposal of trash:

> Where should you put the trash receptacles?

The best location for your trash receptacles is at any entrance to a new space. They also should be placed at seating areas such as a cluster of park benches or picnic tables. Visitors will most likely eat or snack when seated resulting in more trash. Finally, trash receptacles should be where children may congregate, such as around playground equipment.

> How do you encourage visitors to use the trash receptacles?

Making sure your trash receptacles are handy for visitors is only half the battle. Regular maintenance is also a must! Overflowing or smelly trash areas can discourage them from being used which will result in unnecessary litter and debris. Another option that should be considered is recycling. By adding a recycling receptacle for every trash one, you send your patrons the message that you care about the environment. If you care, they will too!

> What is the right style trash receptacle for your park?

ParknPool offers a variety of trash receptacles ranging in materials, size and usage. The most important being size! For high-traffic areas, make sure you buy large enough containers to keep them from overflowing. Also keep in mind the lifting ability of your maintenance staff. A full 55 gallon trash bag can be quite heavy!

Something else to consider, that is mostly overlooked, is the lid!


~ Have a critter problem? You need a dome lid to keep them out!
~ Will they be uncovered? Perhaps a rain bonnet lid is best!
~ Will they be under shelter? Then, your options are wide open!

In our professional experience, trash and recycling receptacles don’t get the respect they deserve. They are arguably the hardest working site amenity in your park. We will work just as hard to find you the perfect option! Give us a call today!

ParknPool | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.77.3700

Benches For Your Locker Rooms and Your Players

Locker room benches are the final piece for your locker room project. Your student athletes work hard and play even harder! Give them adequate space to get ready for the big game with these locker room bench options:

> Portable Backless Bench with Aluminum Plank Seat

Portable Backless Bench with Aluminum Seat

While these portable benches are perfect for parks, baseball diamonds, soccer fields or football fields. They are also a powerful addition to any locker room. They are manufactured with a 2-3/8 inch OD frame and an 11/16 inch cross bar. The portable leg style allows for mobility around the locker room if necessary. They have a 2×10 inch plank seat that can be 6, 8 , or 15 feet long. The 15-foot length will have 3 legs. Choose from an aluminum, treated wood, fiberglass or recycled plastic seat plank.

> Rivendale Rectangular Bench without Back

Rivendale Rectangular Bench without Back

This thermoplastic coated player’s bench has an extra wide seat to provide a more comfortable seat for equipped players or extra room for water jugs and equipment. These are available in either an expanded metal (diamond) or punched steel (holes) design. It is manufactured with a 2-3/8″ OD tubing for the frame and a 1″ OD tubing on the diagonal braces. The thermoplastic coating on this bench is graffiti, stain and scratch resistant. It is one of the most durable coating on the market and is virtually maintenance free.

> Champion Series Supreme Bench without Back

Champion Series Supreme Bench without Back

This exceptionally durable bench is manufactured using a UV stable and mildew resistant plastisol coating throughout the entire bench. The coated seat planks are built to be tough! The seats will not sag, no matter how many linebackers rest their bones! The 1/8+ inch layer of coating is bonded directly to the metal so rust will NEVER be a problem. This player’s bench continues to be a time-tested winner! It cleans easily with mild soap and a bleach-free disinfectant. The smooth surface provides the maximum amount of comfort.

> Recycled Plastic Economizer Traditional Flat Bench

Recycled Plastic Economizer Traditional Flat Bench

This bench is made of 100% recycled HDPE. It is manufactured to be impervious to moisture, rot, mold, and insects. The seats are 15-7/8 inches wide, providing both comfort and roominess. Unbelievably, this bench is made from 584 recycled milk jugs. How cool is that?!? Still not sure? This bench comes with a 20-year commercial warranty!

Are you needing to complete your locker rooms with the perfect benches? Give us a call! ParknPool’s variety of player’s benches are roomy enough for shoulder pads and smooth enough for tights and tutus!

ParknPool Corp. | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

The Benefits of Dog Park Agility Equipment

Agility is defined as the ability to shift body positions quickly and efficiently. It requires:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Strength
  • Speed
  • Endurance

Agile dogs can run, jump and dart with ease. Agility training is the competitive sport where dogs navigate through an obstacle course alongside their owner. Not feeling very competitive? That’s OK! You don’t have to be to take advantage of the benefits involved with agility training. We already train our dogs in basic ways such as: housetraining, obedience and mastering small tricks. Combined with those, agility training is becoming more and more common in household pets!

Agility equipment in dog parks can benefit both your human and dog community members. Here’s how:

Exercise

Some dog breeds, more than others, require a lot of exercise to burn excess energy. Dog park agility equipment is a great source for doing just that! It is especially beneficial in areas where dogs don’t have the opportunity to freely run around a fenced in yard. The athletic challenges involved with an agility obstacle course will help keep a community’s dogs in peak condition while working to prevent obesity. They increase endurance, strengthen bones, and exercise a dog’s mind by giving them opportunities to problem solve. It is truly an exercise for the mind, body and spirit!

Strengthen Dog/Owner Bond

While dogs, for the most part, are considered smart, it would be difficult for them to complete an agility course without the gentle hand of their owner leading them along. The owner’s responsibility is to guide the dog using verbal cues and hand signals which creates an essential means of communication between dog and human. Dogs look to their owners for guidance on completing the course and owners trust that their dog will listen. This accomplishment on course will lead to even greater communication and obedience off course. When working with a dog on an agility course, a level of trust and confidence is built that can’t be found elsewhere. Unlike cats, dogs aren’t independent creatures. They typically want to spend all their time with others!

Socialization

Dog parks, in general, can be great places for humans and dogs to make new friends. If you’ve ever visited a dog park, you’ve noticed that it’s not just the humans that are being social. Dogs are extremely social animals! They enjoy being part of the pack and find enjoyment out of greeting new faces, both dogs and their owners. Even if you have no plans of competing in an agility competition, the more you leisurely frequent a community dog park, the more you’ll inevitably begin to see the same people.

Enforces Dog’s Natural Instincts

It is not a dog’s nature to want to sit at home. The best way to help your dog enforce their natural instincts is through agility training. it is designed to mimic their God-given hunting instincts.

  • Running after prey
  • Maneuvering through small spaces
  • Jumping over fallen obstacles

By using the agility equipment found in dog parks, you are providing your pet with a means to sharpen their natural instincts that your home may be restricting.

There are massive amounts of studies that show pet ownership greatly improves our lives. As a pet owner, you know your dog loves to be active and have a good time. It’s important that your dog have access to all the benefits a community dog park can offer. If you are involved in a community that is looking for ways to enhance the area, consider dog park agility equipment.

Whether developing a brand-new park or wishing to incorporate dog agility equipment into an existing park and playground, ParknPool is here to support your dog-loving community in any way we can!

ParknPool Corp. | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

Key Design Factors for Outdoor Bleachers

Before the overlength pallets arrive on site, there are several key points to consider well in advance. Though mobile and transportable bleachers are available, most outdoor bleachers or grandstands are permanent in nature. This means some important factors need to be addressed so that the proposed site can handle the structure for both immediate and long-term use.

When planning for bleachers on your sports fields, here are the key points to take into consideration:

Budget

The custom and complex options involved with any standard bleacher unit can have an impact on how much money you should allow for your project. Early determination of these options during the budgeting process will not only ensure the proper amount of funds is allocated but will also allow you to create a more accurate cushion for any unforeseen circumstances that typically arise. Examples of some of these options include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Accessibility options such as wheelchair ramps
  2. Press box additions
  3. Aisles and handrails
  4. Guardrails
  5. Shade Structures

ParknPool’s sales staff will gladly work with your organization to ensure all options are explored during the pricing process.

ADA Accessibility

One of the first questions you should ask yourself is, how many wheelchair spaces are required and where should they be located? There are specific requirements for both the number of spaces and the number of space locations. A wheelchair space is defined as a space for a single wheelchair and its occupant. Wheelchair space locations are a space for a single wheelchair and the companion seating. Wheelchair space locations can include multiple wheelchair spaces and companion seats.

Criteria for where wheelchair spaces should be located is determined by both the sightline (the spectator’s ability to see the field of play) and dispersion (side to side view). In many sports venues, where the crowd will typically stand in excitement, those in wheelchairs should be provided seating with views over the standing spectators in front of them.

What is considered the best seats for wheelchairs varies depending on the placement of the bleachers around the field. This means that the layout of these can change from field to field and venue to venue.

ParknPool’s sales staff can help you determine how many and where these wheelchair spaces should be placed within your proposed bleacher or grandstand structure.

Soil

Though not always required, it’s smart to have your soil tested prior to your bleacher installation. Much like any structure, a bleacher or grandstand unit is only as strong as it’s foundation. You want the ground to be able to sustain the weight of not only an empty set of bleachers but, more importantly, a fully occupied sporting event. Proper stability testing of the proposed site will help determine the base that your bleacher structure should be built on and how they will need to be anchored. It is recommended that bleachers be attached to either a concrete foundation or anchored with auger soil anchors.

Lead Times

We want to make sure that the delivery and installation of your bleacher or grandstand falls within the project’s timeline. Depending on where you are located, the design, preparation and installation of your unit is timely. For those locations that experience a winter season, like us here at ParknPool, installation during those months is just not an option. Most commonly, these types of field renovations are planned during the winter months with the execution being scheduled for Spring, Summer and even Fall. Lead times can vary drastically based on availability of raw materials, time of year, current production schedule and order volume. Please be sure to consider all of this so that a properly timed delivery can be made.

In short, bleacher designs vary by field location, purpose, and usage. They range from large structures enjoyed by major sports fans to small 3 row models used by the family members of little leaguers. Whichever option you are searching for, ParknPool will help make sure your spectators view the field on a whole new level.

ParknPool Corp. | Lexington, VA | sales@parknpool.com | 877.777.3700

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a fun time of year for both children and adults. This holiday continues to gain popularity and is now the second most celebrated behind Christmas.

Kids love the magic of Halloween: Trick-or-treating, classroom parties and trips to a neighborhood haunted house. But for moms and dads, often there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

Here’s a scary statistic: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. In 2017, October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month, with 3,700. July is No. 1, with 3,830 deaths.

To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, check out these simple safety tips:

 Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

 Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

 Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

 Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

 

  Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.

 Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

 Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible

 Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

 Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

 Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

  Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

  Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

  Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes

Have a happy and safe Halloween!