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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Shinsei Gardens

At Ross Recreation, we’re often reminded of our company mission: building and enriching our communities. This week, I had a personal tour of a special project in Alameda, CA that we were fortunate enough to have been involved with four years ago called Shinsei Gardens, an affordable housing community that houses a large number of our military veterans, some of... Read More »

Years of Outdoor Fun for Penngrove Elementary Kids

Building long-term relationships is the centerpiece of our Mission Statement and what we do at Ross Recreation Equipment Company.  I was reminded of this recently here in Sonoma County when I was invited to Penngrove Elementary School’s playground grand opening.  Parents, teachers, Petaluma businesses, PG&E (a substantial donor) and other community members had joined forces to raise funds and dedicate... Read More »

New Chapter for this Historic Sonoma Plaza

This month, volunteer Sonoma Rotarians teamed up with the town of Sonoma and Ross Recreation Equipment to upgrade and refresh a popular Landscape Structures play structure on the historic Sonoma Plaza.  The plaza, a traditional town square and a source of regional pride for more than a century and a half, was the place where early settlers staged the Bear... Read More »

Designing Splashpads for Inclusive Play – Webinar

Want to learn more about inclusive splashpad design? Register now for Vortex’s upcoming informational webinar on practical tips to make sure your current or future Splashpad® is successfully designed with access and inclusive participation in mind. This session will cover: The value of Splashpads in communities Inclusive Play concepts Sensory processing and Splashpads How to achieve a universal design ADA... Read More »

George “Rocky” Graham Park is Now Open!

On July 11th, the community of Marin City joined together to celebrate the grand opening of their new George “Rocky” Graham Park. Ross Recreation, along with many other organizations involved in the design and construction of the park, were on hand to join the local residents in the celebration. After several years of planning, it was wonderful to see the... Read More »

Grass Without Limits

At Ross Recreation, we don’t take on new product lines lightly nor frequently, but when we do, it is for the long-term.  It is important that we are closely aligned with our manufacturing partners when it comes to quality expectations, innovative progress, life costing and customer support capabilities.  With that in mind, we are proud and excited about our recent partnership with ForeverLawn, a manufacturer of durable,... Read More »

“Natural Play” – What’s it all Mean?

Much is written today about the desirability of “natural” play environments and I suspect that that is because of well founded concern that children are spending less and less time outdoors exploring the natural world.  This unfortunate trend was well documented in the now famous 2005 book by Richard Louv called Last Child in the Woods, in which the author coins... Read More »

Building a Fitness-Focused Playground in Phases

Over time, the Loyola School PTA in Los Altos, California has gradually built a fitness-focused playground for their Upper Grade students. Constructed in phases spanning 10 years, the final phase features a new Netplex structure that complements existing fitness components. The initial equipment consisted mainly of monkey bars, overhead ladders, rings, and balance components and was designed by Ross Recreation... Read More »

Monoliths of the Playground

Sometimes inspiration can come from the world around us. Landscape Structures Inc. newest play features, the Canyon Collection™, were molded from the Gneiss Outcrops in Granite Falls, Minnesota. This design process provided incredible realism, which translated into playground components that challenge and can bring kids closer to nature. With four rock formations to choose from, the combinations can transform any play... Read More »