Playground Construction, Drainage, Inspection, and Licensing Requirements

Spring 2015

playground contractor inspecting play structure

I (Curtis Stoddard) am passionate about playgrounds. I have owned a playground construction company for thirty-two years and have had the privilege to travel around the world building playgrounds. I’ve worked in the Intermountain West from Canada to Las Vegas and have met many wonderful people in small towns and big cities. I am a hero to children on a daily basis and adults are curious too and wonder, “Who does build playgrounds?” I get to work outdoors with my hands and a group of like-minded individuals who work as a team and are proud of the projects that we accomplish.

And while I am sure that your vocation is wonderful, I can’t help but think that building playgrounds could be the best job in the world!

As I move from my career as a playground builder into my career as a publisher of Play and Playground Magazine and websites, I have a heavy heart as I think about summers not constructing playgrounds. At the same time I am thrilled about this construction issue and the future of our Play and Playground media products found at www.playgroundprofessionals.com.

I hope you enjoy the construction issue of Play and Playground Magazine. Keep it and all Play and Playground Magazine issues as reference resources.

Playground Professionals in Training

Thank you letter for a playground construction job well done


Did You Notice Our New Magazine Name?

We’ve always been about play – we just didn’t have it in our title! The word “playground” certainly does bring images to mind of children playing on play equipment at their local park or school, but it doesn’t immediately invoke thoughts of the myriad of ways that children play. We have broadened our scope of content so we can include all kinds of play children can engage in – nature play in the woods exploring streams and building dens, constructive play in adventure playgrounds building forts, neighborhood play with team sports or pick-up games, and the list goes on.

Playground Professionals has championed play issues since its inception in 2010 with The Play and Playground Encyclopedia, which contains over 630 listings about play and playground topics and which continues to grow. The Playground Professionals News Center soon followed with current news items, press releases, and regular columnists who are experts in their fields. Since purchasing Playground Magazine, we have offered a free digital version of the magazine on the Playground Professionals’ website. This is available through a simple subscription process at www.playgroundprofessionals.com/subscribe.

Two directories are also found on the website: Parks and Recreation Equipment Directory with manufacturer contact information and Local Playground Professionals Directory with contacts for sales reps, playground contractors, landscape architects, and safety inspectors.

With this abundance of content available, Playground Professionals offers a great resource site for play and playground information.

Explore it all at www.playgroundprofessionals.com.

In This Issue...

Playground Drainage
By: CJ Stoddard
Playground drainage is a critical part of keeping playground equipment and surfacing in proper working order, safe and usable. Standing water will cause the resilient surfacing and play equipment to age and deteriorate prematurely. The structural integrity of the concrete footings will be...
Playground at Sunset
By: Roger Davis
It is an exciting time when a new playground comes to a community. From planning to finish, the local children wait with anticipation. Hopefully, the owner has employed a quality contractor to build the playground, and the owner has been involved with the construction process throughout the project.
Child Playing on Finished Playground
By: Jack Fry
Building it right is about creating safe play areas before, during, and long after the installation process.
Girls playing in grass in front of a nature playground
By: IPEMA Association
Among the many improvements in playground design over the last decade is an important movement toward incorporating more natural materials into the play space. It’s not hard to see why. Playgrounds that use natural elements tend to be more enticing to both children and adults.
State Licensing Requirements
By: The Play and Playground Magazine
Licensing requirements for playground contractors vary from state to state. This contact list for each state will aid the contractor and the public in discovering these requirements.
Curtis Stoddard in Sri Lanka
By: The Play and Playground Magazine
Curtis Stoddard has been a playground contractor for over thirty years and has constructed thousands of playgrounds across the Intermountain West. He co-founded the International Playground Contractors Association (NPCAI) and has been involved with ASTM International (ASTM), the National Playground...
Community Build Playgrounds
By: Jay Beckwith
Coming together for a “barn raising” is as old as America. It is only natural that that same spirit has been harnessed to build places for kids to play. The community site-built movement is still alive.