Traditionally, many people start thinking about their playgrounds when the first signs of spring arrive, and the temperatures warm up a bit. So, it may seem a little counterintuitive to suggest that late fall is a great time to take stock of the playground. Here are a few of reasons why assessing your playground now makes a lot of sense.
First and foremost, it is a good idea to do a safety check and winterize your playground. Walk the playground to check and tighten any bolts that may have become loose from use during warmer months. If you have any shade covering, check for rips or tears and prep for shade removal if it is suggested by your manufacturer before a snow load catches you off guard. It is also a good idea to check safety surfacing, particularly Engineered Wood Fiber, and make sure it has been replenished before winter weather makes it more difficult to assess.
Mid to late fall is also great time to add to an existing playground or tackle a new playground project. Securing new playground equipment before new year price increases can help save money for your organization or community. Ordering and installing before winter can also help you avoid that spring/summer rush that often takes place during warmer months. Except for pour-in-place rubber surfacing, colder temperatures do not impact the ability to install most playground and recreational equipment. With an early playground project completion, you will be able to take advantage of the warmer spring like temperatures, instead of just beginning the process.
Finally, this year has shown us all just how important being outdoors is to our mental health as we remain committed to social distancing and seek to safely have recreational experiences. Playgrounds are outlets for our children and maintaining their upkeep and excitement is more important than ever. While playgrounds may have sat more idle in years past, this year, with the right clothing, many families are planning to take advantage of outdoor experiences even when the weather gets colder.