THE HYBRID PLAYGROUND CONCEPT
Currently there are two options available for communities who want to build playgrounds with volunteer labor. We believe there should be a third!
Field Fabricated Community-Built Playgrounds:
One option is to hire a design firm and build the playground, from scratch, with community volunteers. These playgrounds are incredibly beautiful and provide many opportunities for volunteer involvement and custom features. They also require large budgets and a massive effort by the organizing committee.
Beyond the challenges of the process, the product itself has several drawbacks. They are not certified by a third party to be in compliance with the safety codes and typically do not have warranties. Also, they tend to be very dense, making supervision difficult, and because they are built largely from wood, they require a lot of maintenance.
Factory Fabricated Community-Built Playgrounds:
A second option is to work with one of the national firms who manufacture play equipment. The budgets for these projects can range from very small to very large. Since the volunteers assemble fabricated components, these projects do not require as large of an effort to organize.
They have the benefit of being IPEMA certified and backed by a factory warranty. They require less maintenance and are often much more open. The most common complaint with manufactured equipment is that they are not customized to the community and donít reflect the history or culture of the community.
Our goal is to introduce a new option for community-build playgrounds- one that combines the best of both worlds into a new Hybrid approach. A Hybrid playground will use manufactured play equipment for the play structures. The certifications, warranties and low-maintenance materials make this the best choice for most communities. Beyond the play structures, however, a hybrid playground will bring the community together, with the help of Play by Design, to design and field fabricate custom iconic site elements that truly reflect the place and the people. It’s this new combination of approaches that we feel best meets the needs of communities today.
Completed Hybrid Playgrounds:
Chesaning Riverboat Playground - Chesaning, MI
Turtle Grove Playground - Albany, GA
Trumansburg Central Schools - Trumansburg, NY
Ticonderoga Central Schools - Ticonderoga, NY
Tapestry Charter School - Buffalo, NY
Concept Hybrid Playgrounds:
Myers Park - Lansing, NY
Stewart Park - Ithaca, NY
Ithaca Montessori School - Ithaca, NY