Imagine, a little boy, age 8, who is painfully shy. So shy that it stops him from asking a question in class, so shy he has a hard time speaking up in group conversation in the schoolyard, too shy to join in the pickup soccer game because he feels he runs too slowly and can’t kick the ball just right –safer to stand on the side and quietly observe.
Later, you see this same boy, at the park, after school, just on the edge of a group of kids…they are running over to the Spashpad® and now you worry…will he stand on the side and watch? Will he join in to the fun or will his shyness stop him from doing so?
You watch as he walks alone, over to the Spidey Water Spray and lets the water run and bubble over his hands, he stands there exploring and enjoying the cool water for a few moments and then peeks over at the water cannon. Feeling comfortable with the water sounds, temperature and overall environment…he holds on the water cannon and suddenly he is in charge of the action. He moves the water cannon ever so slightly and sees the water land on the other kids; luckily they laugh and run to their own cannons. A playful spray fight begins and the little boy who was too shy to join in is now part of the game. The huge smile on his face, the confident giggle shows me that he feels part of the action and no longer feels left out. He feels included.
His barrier to play was his painful shyness, the environment and surroundings of the splashpad allowed this boy to overcome his shy feelings and participate in this moment.
Barriers to participating in playing can be physical such as height and path access, they can be emotional, cognitive or a combination of several things. Designing with inclusive play in mind involves thinking ahead and eliminating these barriers to provide many types of different play experiences that can be enjoyed by all people.
About our blogger, MONICA SLANIK
Monica Slanik, BSC(OT), faculty member of McGill University's School of Physical & Occupational Therapy (SPOT), currently consults for Vortex Aquatics International on Inclusive Play and Universal Design. She has consulted on numerous playgrounds, and is an advocate for play opportunities for all people and all generations. She
is currently coordinating a research study project for SPOT, in conjunction with a Montreal-area health care institution, on the development and use of an intergenerational park as part of rehabilitation treatment and reintegration into community living.
By Glenn Barrie, North East Region Manager, Vortex Aquatics Structures
And why not? It’s a new year, the temperature is below freezing in most of North America and snow blankets the ground… It’s the perfect time to plan your splash pad!
For the past several years, splash pads have topped the request list of recreation amenities most desired by municipalities and their citizens. These zero-depth aquatics facilities are a cost-effective method for municipal clients small and large, to offer summer time fun in the face of ever-shrinking budgets. Although splash pads have been around since the mid-1980’s (and even before in various incarnations), there are a great many questions that clients have as to how to successfully execute a splash pad project. So what is a municipal official to do?
The answer is simple. Arm yourself with information. And do so by attending an educational seminar on the subject. More...
By Martina Madlener, Inside Sales support/ Splashpad Designer
Designing a Splashpad that incorporates all the necessary aspects sound easier then it is. A Splashpad needs to be appealing to the eye, be accessible to all and most important of all; be fun. To achieve this well balanced design, you simply need to follow some essential steps. Every Splashpad is different, the shape, the size, the mix of products and the overall look will most likely always vary. But there are some common factors that should be present in all designs to make it the best Splashpad it can be! More...
Article originally published in http://www.standard-freeholder.com
LONG SAULT — After putting up with a few weather-related delays, the new Splashpad® at the Arnold Bethune Memorial Park in Long Sault is almost ready.
South Stormont Parks and Recreation Supervisor Kevin Amelotte said the project had been expected to be wrapped up a few days ago, but due to the rain and recent windstorm, the construction was forced to shut down for a few days.
"But they got a good portion of it completed," said Amelotte. "It's just a matter of pouring the actual pad itself."
Amelotte said all the electrical and infrastructure work has been completed and he was expecting the contractor to be on site shortly to pour the pad, and after that, the only thing left is for the plumbers to connect the plumbing for drainage.
"The rest of the work, like the landscaping, the installation of the benches and garbage cans will be done in the spring," said Amelotte. Although partially funded by grants from the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund and some money coming from tax coffers, a large part of the project was funded by the residents of South Stormont. More...
Artist rendering of new Splashpad®
Article originally published in The News Tribune
Pasco plans to buy equipment for a new Splashpad® without going out for bid.
The city council discussed at its Monday workshop waiving the bidding requirements so it can spend $93,089 on equipment for a water playground at Kurtzman Park.
City Manager Gary Crutchfield recommended buying the equipment from Vortex Aquatic Structures International of Quebec, Canada, because it also equipped the spray park at the Memorial Park pool. More...
Artist's rendition of new Splashpad®
Original article by Gena Mangiaratti - Daily Hampshire Gazette
SOUTH HADLEY — Buttery Brook Park will close Nov. 1 as work begins on renovations that have been planned for nearly a decade.
Improvements will include a Vortex Splashpad®, new playground equipment and a relocation of the skate park, said Department of Public Works Superintendent James Reidy. More...
Does your community shut down its Splashpads for the winter?
Not sure what to do to prepare your Splashpad® for the colder climate?
Would you like to avoid damage to your Splashpad® and ensure a smooth spring startup?
Top 3 tips for winterizing your Splashpad:
- Make sure no water remains in play features
- Make sure no water stays in the supply lines
- Make sure water is completely purged from the water management system
Properly preparing a Splashpad® before shutting it down for the winter is essential to ensuring a smooth and trouble free spring startup. Following the correct winterization procedure will help avoid equipment damage through cold winter months and facilitate startup during the spring.
Donald Doucette - Field Technician for Vortex Aquatic Structures will guide attendees through the proper winterization protocols for both FT (Flow-through) and WQMS (Re-circulating) Splashpad® water management systems.
The inspiration for this new amenity is a running stream. A stream is an oasis of tranquility in nature where reflection, play and renewal happen.
Vortex Aquatic Structures International has been a leader in aquatic play for over 18 years, manufacturing safe, economical and sustainable aquatic play amenities. Water Journeys™ is Vortex’s latest innovation and provides landscape architects and aquatic designers with new opportunities to create remarkable landmarks that are cross generational. Water Journeys™ is a linear ground play area, created in imitation of nature’s water systems and includes: boating, flow management, rivers, and streams in a four module game installation. Like in nature, what happens in one area of the stream impacts the conditions further downstream. Children will quickly learn how their play affects others. Each game module offers a different interactive play experience and provides people of all ages a chance to engage in the Water Journeys® meeting place. More...
Vortex Aquatic Structures International extends, a well deserved congratulations to Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission for winning the award for the Blue Heron Bay Splashpad® they opened Memorial Day Weekend (May) 2013.
Vortex Aquatic Structures International is overjoyed by the recognition Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission will receive for the extraordinary spray park they built and that Vortex Midwest could be part of the project.The NACPRO awards are annual recognition given to individuals, programs and innovative installations that contribute to the American park system. The category for which Blue Heron Bay at Independence Lake County Park won – the Park and Recreation Award (Class I) - was to honor and focus national attention on their spray park installation as the best in design, planning, construction and benefit to the community. More...
Article originally from Recreation Management Magazine by Rick Dandes
Smaller waterparks, both privately run and those operated and funded by local municipalities, are finding new and creative ways to survive, and even prosper, within tight budget constraints. In fact, many municipalities now understand that their waterparks are not only beneficial to the well-being of residents, but can also be a financial asset to the bottom line of their annual parks and recreation budgets. More...