School Playground Improvement on a Budget

Occasionally, we work on a school or neighborhood project that seems to embody the essence of what we hope to achieve at Ross Recreation: build strong personal relationships that endure; create something lasting and positive; and enhance a spirit of community. Such was the case with Maria Ching and her PTA Committee at Vallejo Mill Elementary School in Fremont, California.... Read More »

Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day at Athan Downs Park

This week, I asked one of our Ross team members, Jon Bawden, to share his experience with a truly special playground project that our company was fortunate enough to have been involved with. Here, in Jon’s own words, is the story of Athan Downs Playground. ~ Ewing Philbin “Why do we get up each morning and do what we do... Read More »

Life Costing Equipment

When I meet with cities and schools to discuss play equipment, I try to initiate a conversation about “the ownership proposition.” What do I mean by that? I mean the shared vision of what owning play equipment should look like over the life of the installation, not simply the initial purchase price. Isn’t that really the measure of performance? How long will... Read More »

Bille Park

One of my all time favorite Landscape Structures playgrounds was finally replaced with new LSI equipment this month after over 25 years. The Bille Park playground in Paradise, California (in the Sierra foothills near Chico) had served the surrounding communities with its venerable redwood and aluminum core structural components. Landscape Structures’ old “Alumacore” playsystem was a testament to sustainability, durability and fine design... Read More »

Landscape Structures Introduces New Products

Along with 350 other representatives from more than 30 countries, I flew to Minneapolis last month to attend Landscape Structures’ annual meeting. This was my 28th meeting and the 38th anniversary of Ross Recreation Equipment Company’s partnership with Landscape Structures! Steve King introduced us to an array of new products including “Pulse,” a sensor-activated electronic playground game that makes kids... Read More »

A Move Outdoors for Fitness

With the arrival of the New Year, many of us resolve to increase our physical fitness and overall well being. We seek a variety of ways to achieve our well intentioned goals, but the traditional springboard for many remains the indoor gym. I don’t know about you, but my days in the gym are gradually giving way to healthy outdoor... Read More »

Reflections on 2012

I have been selling play equipment for thirty years and I love every day of it. I took a moment to look back at some of the projects that really stood out over the past year and the cool aspects of my job. Dolores Park, San Francisco: watching hundreds of kids swarming the new playground on an old site renovated... Read More »

More Than Selling Equipment

Ross Recreation hosted a playground maintenance seminar for over 100 professionals from 25 San Francisco Bay Area park departments and school districts. The seminar, held at the City of San Ramon’s Central Park Community Center, was conducted by Tim Barrett of Landscape Structures and Jon Bawden, Ewing Philbin, Alex Hailey and Rebecca Whitten from Ross. Topics ranged from protective surfacing... Read More »

Sonoma County Strives to Be the Healthiest

I am a Sonoma County guy and proud of it. Bonney and I have lived here for over thirty years, raised our three children here, located our business here, and take pride in its unique beauty, agricultural heritage, wonderful communities, and commitment to kids. And recently, county leaders adopted an ambitious, but achievable goal of being the healthiest county in... Read More »

Success at ASLA 2012!

Last weekend, Landscape Structures attended the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Annual Meeting & Expo in Phoenix, and came home with an award that we’re excited to share with you. Landscape Structures’ booth space, themed Designed with Play in Mind, was voted by the attending Landscape Architects as Best in Show. The booth featured the PlayBooster Vibe with nature-inspired... Read More »

Shapes at Play

Who says outdoor play and learning have to be mutually exclusive? As a culture, we tend to compartmentalize play and learning (recess vs. classroom). The San Francisco Exploratorium has taken the concept of blending play and learning one step further by funding geometrically shaped climbers at museum playgrounds, school and city playgrounds. Kids are learning about geometry and spatial relationships,... Read More »

Why Outdoor Playgrounds Are Important

With our schools reopening, it’s a great time for all of us to remind ourselves of the abundant benefits that playgrounds provide to our communities and to the healthy growth of our children. An earlier blog posting explained how properly designed playgrounds can actually offer therapeutic benefits to kids with sensory processing disorders, including autism. Other studies have shown additional... Read More »