Mulches can be used in many different applications—for instance, did you know that mulches are used to make children’s playground safer? Mulch protects the kids playing on playgrounds from scraping injuries, or even softening the blow in a fall from playground equipment. Can you imagine a playground where the entire surface was asphalt or concrete? There would be injuries daily, scraped knees or worse. Did you also know there are so many different options for mulches, both natural and recycled, that work great in these applications?
Loose-fill Playground Materials
Loose-fill playground materials are the most cost effective, and the most commonly used. Wood chips—engineered wood fibers—are traditional materials used for surfacing a playground. Remember the smell of cedar chips on the playground? Wood chips work as excellent shock absorbers (landing pads for tumbling children), and they also prevent scraping injuries. However, wood chips will need to be maintained periodically—because the material is organic, it will break down over time, and once or twice yearly, you will need additional material to maintain a quality depth. Wood chips will also need to be raked periodically to ensure that the surface stays level. Also, wood chips have a traditional look and feel, and the smell of an area full of wood chips is enough to give any adult a dose of nostalgia.
Pea gravel is also a traditional playground material, and, while it is a bit more uncomfortable on the knees, and seems to get hotter in the summertime, it doesn’t break down like wood chips. But pea gravel also needs to be raked and levelled like wood chips.
Other non-organic choices for loose-fill material is recycled rubber or plastic material that has been ground up, and made to look like shredded rubber. It doesn’t have the classic look, smell, and feel of wood chips, but it does a similar job. Oftentimes the rubber comes from used tires.
Whatever material you choose for your playground project, be it for the community, or at home, mulch will always be the better product over asphalt and concrete, and grass will only break down over time, leaving nothing but an unattractive, dirt field.
If you have any questions as to how to mulch your potential playground, call the experts at Rocky Mountain compost today.