The Benefits of Being Outdoors

In the past, we have been proud to work with The Trust For Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit with a wonderful mission.  In addition to playgrounds, TPL has lead the charge promoting the concept of urban “fitness zones”, a low-cost alternative to expensive gym memberships for low income families and adults.  I have written before about “fitness zones” and... Read More »

Back to the Future

One of my earliest meetings in 2017 was at Oak Avenue Elementary School in Los Altos, California, to discuss the expansion and enhancement of the existing kindergarten playground. Oak Avenue remains a special place for me because it was one of my earliest experiences organizing a parent volunteer group for the installation over a single day of a large Landscape... Read More »

Award for Hillside Park

At their annual awards gala, the Sierra Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects gave Stantec Architecture their Honor Award for outstanding design work on Rancho Cordova’s exciting new Hillside Park.  Ross Recreation is proud to have contributed Landscape Structures play equipment and a Classic Recreation shade structure to this extraordinary project.  We also installed the extensive poured-in-place rubberized safety... Read More »

City of Napa declares Jim Roberts Day, October 6th, 2016

Thursday was officially proclaimed Jim Roberts Day by the City of Napa as a full house at the Elks Club packed the halls to celebrate Jim’s 90th birthday and his lifetime of service to children and community. Family, friends and colleagues gathered to hear of Jim’s numerous contributions to the well-being of young people, especially underserved and at-risk youth. To... Read More »

“Too Small to Fail” Comes to Oakland

As a part of our partnership with Landscape Structures and Too Small to Fail, Ross Recreation was thrilled to participate in launching the first public early literacy playground in Oakland at Willie Wilkins Park. Ross Recreation installed this playground in East Oakland in 2010 where it has served the surrounding community ever since. The toddler structure is a rainbow of... Read More »

Creatively Transforming Recreational Spaces

Recently, Casey Hilbert, Ross Recreation’s Central Coast sales representative, was asked to take on a challenging project in Soledad, California, and developed creative solutions, on time and on budget. At Santa Elena Cooperative Housing in Soledad, Pacific Gas & Electric Company wanted to relocate an existing playground because the site was over a large utility line.  PG&E’s Chris Long contacted Casey,... Read More »

Project trends – Signature designs

People often ask me “What’s new in your industry?”  Increasingly, our customers, especially city and county park departments, are asking for playground designs that are unique, not a cookie-cutter “one size fits all” approach.  This can mean either a themed design (for example, agriculture, nature, frontier life) or something that speaks to local identity, history or story. Oftentimes, if budgets... Read More »

A Community Build Delivers A Newly Retrofitted Playground

Here at Ross Recreation, we often speak of the “Ross Difference”.  Recently, Casey Hilbert, Ross Recreation’s South Coast sales representative helped organize a volunteer installation with Graves Elementary School, a small, forty student rural school with kindergarten through eight grade located outside Salinas, California.   Casey helped the school design a full retrofit to the original play equipment, removing all... Read More »

Ross Recreation named 2015 Landscape Structures’ Representative Organization of the Year

In mid-January, at Landscape Structures Annual Sales Meeting in Minneapolis, in front of peers and colleagues, I was humbled and overjoyed when our Ross Recreation team was acknowledged as Landscape Structures’ Representative Organization of the Year.  There are close to fifty representative firms in Landscape Structures’ worldwide distribution chain, including outstanding organizations from South America, Asia and Europe.  Landscape Structures’ Rep of... Read More »

Industry Trends for 2016

People often ask what trends are happening in our industry. Looking back at 2015, I see four things, shifts in the marketplace that will persist and likely grow in the coming New Year. UNIQUE PLAYGROUND DESIGN Often nature-inspired, many of our playground designs are now driven by communities that wish to define what is historic or unique about the place they live. So we are... Read More »

Creating Innovative Play Through Functional Art

Ross Recreation recently helped the City of Redwood City create an interactive art exhibition at Andrew Spinas Park. Earlier this year, The City of Redwood City announced the launch of a unique public art partnership with Fung Collaboratives to debut three works of functional art in October sponsored by Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation. The City of Redwood City commissioned emerging artist Michael Koliner to... Read More »

San Jose Maintenance Seminar Success

Earlier this month, Ross Recreation held a playground maintenance seminar at the City of San Jose’s Willow Glen Community Center for over one hundred and thirty maintenance professionals from cities and Bay Area school districts.  Our featured speaker was Tim Barrett of Landscape Structures, who gave an in-depth discussion on playground regulations, inspection priorities and systems development, retrofitting older play... Read More »

The Architecture of Inclusive Play

Last week, ASLA’s Northern California Chapter invited Ross Recreation to speak at a South Bay subcommittee evening event that focused on how to create unique and universally accessible play environments, playgrounds that are both inclusive and, at the same time, present a unique community story. We invited John McConkey of Landscape Structures to join us because of John’s many years... Read More »

Beautiful Splashpad Design Meets Smart Water Repurposing

The new splashpad at San Jose’s Park Kiely Apartments is up and running for kids and parents alike.  Using repurposed water from the new spashpad, the beautiful landscaping at the apartment complex is regularly irrigated after being captured in holding tanks and then recycled after being sprayed on the splashpad.  To start the design process, Vortex designers first assessed the... Read More »

Transformation in Play

In the past, I’ve written extensively about the cost and environmental benefits of retrofitting older Landscape Structures playstructures. Compared to replacement, a playstructure retrofit saves both money and landfill space. It also dramatically changes the ownership proposition for play equipment, an important fiscal and environmental consideration for cash strapped school districts and park departments. Here at Ross Recreation we are... Read More »

Our Favorite Inclusive Play Elements

The power of inclusivity on the playground is what helps bring children together, building great communities. By incorporating different play elements, children of all abilities can experience the same enjoyment during their play time. As Ross Recreation continues to promote inclusivity, the power of play and how best to design inclusive play spaces, our sales team has developed a few... Read More »

Empowering Kids Through Play

Ross Recreation is excited to announce that the first Netplex in California has been installed! The lucky school to lay claim to the first Netplex is Sand Hill School in Palo Alto. Sand Hill School is part of Children’s Health Council (CHC), a unique organization dedicated to children with ADHD and inattention, Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning challenges and anxiety and... Read More »

Revitalizing Historic Murphy Avenue

We are proud to be a part of the City of Sunnyvale’s recent revitalization of its Murphy Avenue historic district. The goal of this 76,000 sq. ft. streetscape project was to reorganize the street to better accommodate increased pedestrian traffic, outdoor restaurant seating, and civic events. This was accomplished by installing decorative pavers in the roadway, colored concrete sidewalks, and... Read More »

Out Is In At Seven Seas Park

More and more, our neighborhood parks are playing a central role in our community activities and social lives.  July is Park & Recreation month, a perfect time to get out and visit these neighborhood treasures and reflect on parks’ significance in our daily lives.  After home, school, and church, where do many of us likely spend most of our time?... Read More »

Rancho Cordova Sunridge Park Splashpad

Last week, Ross Recreation Staff traveled to Sunridge Park in Rancho Cordova near Sacramento to see our newest Vortex Splashpad, and to get in-depth product training from Kevin Spence, Vortex’ lead systems’ engineer and Western Regional manager. Present with Kevin at the training were Judy Ogburn, Tara Bartosch, Alex Hailey, Casey Hilbert, Bob Hanes, Ross’ Vortex- certified Construction Manager, and... Read More »