Among the many challenges facing the Parks & Recreation industry, climate change and competition for resources are at the forefront for 2018. Due to changing climate, the parks and rec industry must account and plan for the extreme weather that comes along with it, such as extreme heat and cold, rain and thunderstorms and events like tornadoes or hurricanes. Changing climate has changed the planning, design and management of parks, facilities, and public land. Along with climate change, increased competition for land and funding has affected the parks and recreation industry.
Sufficient and sustainable funding is hard to come by, and the lack of adequate funding hinders new opportunities, innovative solutions and often times facilities are poorly maintained and unsafe. As a result of these issues becoming more prevalent, sustainability initiatives have been adapted by many companies to help combat these concerns.
In a recent report from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), light is shed on how companies and parks and recreation agencies are integrating these practices into their daily routine. Among the numerous sustainability initiatives included in the report, many pertain to environmentally-friendly products and procedures that are easy to implement.
Initiatives to help conserve natural resources have been put in place. Some of these initiatives include reducing landfill waste, protecting wildlife and providing community education. Another sustainability initiative that is increasingly being adopted is to use environmentally-friendly building practices. The report states that 43% of companies are using recycled construction materials.
Using recycled construction material for parks and rec products is a great way to help conserve natural resources. It also keeps waste out of the landfills and is a sustainable building solution that is built to last with low maintenance cost and effort.
Replacing Wood with Structural Recycled Plastic Lumber
Although traditional wood is a common building material for many parks and recreation projects, a better alternative in many circumstances is structural recycled plastic lumber. Not only is it durable and strong, it also is well suited for outdoor applications where structural support or load bearing is required.
Besides its structural integrity, plastic lumber doesn’t require painting or staining and will not rot or splinter. Many times graffiti can become an unwanted addition to playground equipment, and with plastic lumber, the paint will not adhere and can be easily washed off. This environmentally-friendly product cuts, drills and secures like traditional wood and can increase profitability over time because it is built to last and has a 50 year warranty.
SelectForce® by Bedford Technology
SelectForce® by Bedford Technology is a strong and durable product that can be custom-molded and is also available in traditional lumber profile sizes. This product line is the foundation of our other Bedford Technology products, and is a great alternative to wood, metal and concrete.
FiberForce® by Bedford Technology
FiberForce® by Bedford Technology utilizes fiberglass strands to increase rigidity. This added rigidity creates characteristics suited for many structural applications where a wider span, dimensional stability or increased flexural strength is required. It is manufactured in many different profiles and lengths and cuts, drills and secures like traditional wood.
Common Parks & Recreation Applications
While there are many applications in the parks and recreation market that is suited for our environmentally-friendly products, here are a few common applications:
Retaining Walls – It’s important for the wall material to be able to stand up to moisture, pressure and heavy weight. Using plastic lumber will lower your lifecycle cost compared to traditional lumber.
Fencing – Building fencing systems using wooden posts, metal and concrete may require many repairs and replacements over time. Our fencing products can have various systems pre-installed that make the installation process easier and more effective including slots or holes. Our fencing systems will hold up to strong winds and will not splinter.
Playgrounds/Playground Equipment – Due to the high traffic and use, playground equipment must be strong and durable. Playgrounds must also be easily accessible and ADA compliant. Recycled plastic lumber is a great alternative to traditional wood for playgrounds because it requires less maintenance than traditional wood, the color doesn’t fade, it won’t splinter or rot and will hold up in every season and in extreme weather.
Our Products in Action
Ready to Take Your Sustainability Initiatives to the Next Level?
Contact Bedford Technology today to get more information about how our recycled plastic lumber products can work for your parks and recreation applications!