Jim Roberts Day in Napa, California

On Saturday November 8th, Napa citizens gathered to watch as Napa’s mayor presented keys to the City to 91 year old Jim Roberts, who was about to lead his 68th playground construction project with his Kiwanis Club volunteers, this time at historic downtown Fuller Park. Later, the revitalized playground was dedicated and re-named Jim Roberts Playground. Attended by the mayor,... Read More »

New Replaces the Old at Dorotea Park

At Ross Recreation, we think a lot about what our brand promises, both to longtime customers and to new customers alike. More recently, we can thank one of our longtime customers, the City of Rohnert Park, for providing testimony to what we strive to do, the quality of our products and the way we do business. In a recent City... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Lattice Educational Services

As Autism Awareness Month draws to a close we at Ross are able to really reflect on the importance of inclusive play and the value it brings to our communities. At Ross Recreation we are committed to helping create play spaces that include children of all abilities and provide accessibility and education for special needs and disabled children. Over the... Read More »

Going Strong – Providing Decades of Play Value

Recently, the City of Santa Clara contacted Ross Recreation about the availability of replacement parts for two ancient Landscape Structures playgrounds: one at Carmichael Park and one at Rotary Park, both nearly thirty years old and according to the City, “Going strong”!  The old redwood playground equipment was officially discontinued by Landscape Structures in the late eighties, but parts for... 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 »

A Winner in Harsh Marine Environments

It’s no coincidence that many Landscape Structures play structures are found near the northern California and Oregon coast. Landscape Structures play equipment is the ideal choice for durability and longevity in harsh-on-metal marine environments because of the materials and finishes used in fabrication. 5” diameter vertical posts and beams are made of highly rust resistant aluminum, are primed with industrial... Read More »

Sheridan Elementary School Playground Safety Seminar

This month, Ross Recreation had the privilege of being a part of Sheridan Elementary School‘s safety seminar in San Francisco, CA! Playground safety seminars are an excellent way to get the students familiar with how each component is meant to be used, as well as a great opportunity to have the kids spend some time outside! We want to thank Simon... 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 »