Creating Chemistry

Terry Schoenthal, ASLA, is a Landscape Architect practicing in Alaska. Terry has spent more than 25 years studying , designing , (and using) playgrounds in Alaska, Washington State, and Europe. Most recently, Terry has completed a study of resilient surfacing options for the playgrounds of the Anchorage School District.


Resources For Playground Design

The design of playgrounds today has become a complex effort, but a number of reference and training sources are available and can be very helpful. Some examples include:

The Certification Course for Playground Safety Inspectors, presented by the National Recreation and Park Association. Two-day courses are held throughout the United States, and offer thorough training in current safety recommendations for playgrounds. Upon passing a test, participants are certified as Playground Safety Inspectors. Schedules for classes and schedules may be found at its website,

ASTM F 1487-07 (or most current) Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use: This is the accepted general standard for playground-equipment safety.

ASTM F 2223-04: Standard Guide for ASTM Standards on Playground Surfacing: This is the accepted standard for playground safety surfacing.

ASTM F1292, Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment: This is the standard for testing the impact attenuation of safety surfacing.

Handbook for Public Playground Safety. Produced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this handbook is one of the accepted primary guides for playground design.

A Guide to Playground Planning, produced by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This is a great all-round resource for all of the decisions that go into developing a new playground, and can be found at

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  1. Creating Chemistry
  2. A Playground For All
  3. Zap Playground Surface Static
  4. Playgound Fencing Specification Has Teeth
  5. H.O.P.E. For The Best

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