When tires retire

Rubber lives on in play surface safe for wheelchairs, little feet. Keeping used tires out of landfills is one thing. Providing playground access to disabled children is quite another — or was, until a clever innovation brought the two causes together.

“If you didn’t know anything about safety, what would you want to fall on?” asks Elaine Sherman, a longtime advocate of accessible playgrounds for disabled children.

Designers call this new surfacing: SMARTE

Elaine Sherman, who pioneered a new playground surface, details the acronym behind the product, SMARTE:

S – Safe slip-resistant mat

M – Mats covering shredded rubber bag system

A – Accessible surface

R – Reduces serious fall injuries

T – Train park staff and can easily be installed

E – Environmentally friendly

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When considering accessibility on playground consider blacktop surfacing markings. They are accessible and a minor modification that makes the playground more inclusive. For more on the Peaceful Playgrounds visit www.peacefulplaygrounds.com