Author Archive for Nicole Stoddard

2017 National Recreation and Parks Association Trade Show

The LuckyDog Team had a blast at the annual NRPA, National Recreation and Parks Association, Trade Show and Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana. Each year the trade show floor is filled with exciting new and innovative products. LuckyDog’s Utah’s Creative Play Designer, Rhetta McIff met up with some of our favorite people that manufacturer some of our favorite brands. Tune into what’s to come in the future of play with this fun video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqRcO5jeSsU&t=310s

LuckyDog Recreation is proud to be in partnership with the people at Playcraft Systems, Berliner Play Equipment, FlexGround Surfacing, Free Notes Harmony Park and Dog-ON-It Parks:

Justin Dietz from Playcraft Systems introduced the new Contour™ Play System. This system bridges the traditional deck and post play structure with active play events. The Contour™ is focused on flow, the direction of play, and multiple choices for children.

Charlie Robertson from FlexGround Safety Surfaces introduced new products we are excited about. The rubber surfacing solution for walking tracks much needed. We can’t wait to share its benefits with you. FlexGround stays ahead of the curve when it comes to innovations to fill a need.

Luke Vardanian with Berliner Play Equipment demonstrated how to play the Hula Loop while sharing with us his favorite parts of being one of the Landscape Architects for Berliner USA. We agree with Luke when he says “The best part of working with Berliner is pushing the boundaries of creativity”.

As you know LuckyDog has a special place in our hearts for dogs and Gary Max of Dog-On-It Parks introduced the new Eco-Dog Line of 100% recycled products. The Eco-Dog Line is their portable system. Now you can plan events for your dog-loving patrons with this set-up and take-in down in minutes system.

Thank you to all the LuckyDog brands. Thank you, Rhetta, for sharing your enthusiasm and playful spirit.

Thank you to all our customers. We appreciate your business. We look forward to playing with you again next year.

In Pursuit of Play,

Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation Sales and Marketing

P.S. Call the LuckyDog team to learn more about anything you see in this video and much, much more. 800-388-2196

I would love to send you the new catalogs featuring the products we saw at the 2107 National Recreation and Parks Association Show.

Better Ways To Serve More Members Of Your Community

As you know we are coming up on the end of the US government’s fiscal year. This means that school districts and municipalities must spend the end of their budget!

Spending your full budget shows that you were sure of your needs and that you are able to fulfill those particular needs in a way that best serves your community.

Serving All Of Your Community Members

So what is the best way to spend your end of 2017 budget and ensure that every member of your community is well served?

The answer is Freenotes Harmony Park Outdoor Musical Instruments…

Because Freenotes outdoor musical instruments are made for all ages and abilities you will find them to be the perfect addition to your park or playground.

Designed with acoustic precision and perfect tone by a Grammy Award winning musician, Richard Cooke. The Freenotes allure draws in children and adults of all abilities, to play and to enjoy, creating a full sensory experience.

Musical knowledge or skill isn’t necessary in order to create beautiful sounds for both the players and those listening nearby.

Everyone can enjoy play for years to come; Freenotes instruments are made for the outdoors, durability, longevity and accessibility are built in.

It is easy to meet your budget, with individual pieces starting at just $1695.00, or by grouping several instruments for more fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvs1gIuNcaw&list=PLrx_XOytvnRuaid6zPpQSHhVDa2BxkhWL&index=5

Call me I am happy to assist you with an individual piece or a grouping to suit your needs.

In Pursuit of “Musical” Play,

Nicole Stoddard – LuckyDog Recreation

P.S. Yes, you can help to ensure your budget for 2018 with smart playground additions that serve every member of your community.LuckyDog Recreation

Go For The Extraordinary With Berliner Playground Equipment

Berliner – Play Equipment for Life

Yes, extraordinary is the perfect term for Berliner Play Equipment. I think you will agree once you have experienced the beautiful sleek designs that fit right into your landscape and actually played on Berliner play equipment.

Berliner playgrounds present an attractive challenge for every age group. Each design can hold a lot of children, giving them room to climb, spin, swing and spark imaginations while they develop their psychomotor skills. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7mdfS0PAjE

“All playgrounds are constructed in a technically sophisticated way and are made from quality materials such as stainless steel, powder-coated aluminum and HDPE. They stand for the greatest amount of safety, long service life and all meet U.S. safety standards. Every playground is very low-maintenance and causes hardly any subsequent costs.” Berliner

Ready for something extraordinary?

Call me!

Nicole Stoddard – Berliner Representative for Utah, Idaho and Wyoming

P.S. We just received new Berliner catalogs, I would love to send you one.

LuckyDog Recreation

Introducing Playground Designer Rhetta McIff

Earlier this year we were fortunate to have Rhetta McIff join the LuckyDog team. Rhetta is our new Creative Playground Designer. Her years of experience working with local municipalities have already paid off. Her playground designs are spot on when it comes to innovation and fitting the wants and needs of the customer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDLsxkcsABU&t=12s

Before joining LuckyDog Rhetta worked for the Utah Department of Health collecting student injury data from all Utah School Districts to assist with safety and prevention practices. Most recently she worked at her local city office building strong community engagement through revitalization efforts including local parks and playgrounds.

Rhetta and her husband Brett are parents of two active and dynamic children who keep them laughing every day.

We are honored that Rhetta has joined the LuckyDog Team and know you will love working with her on your playground projects. As the Creative Play Designer for LuckyDog Recreation, she is unique in her approach to every playground design she creates.

In Pursuit of Play,

Nicole Stoddard

Berliner “Lunch-n-Learn” Tour A Huge Success

Thank you, everyone, for the tremendous response to the recent “Lunch-n-Learn” tour from Boise, Idaho to the Wasatch Front in Utah with Berliner’s CEO, Lukas Steinke.

Part of our tour included stopping at sites where Berliner play equipment is currently installed. 

Berliner playground equipment at Brookside Park in Daybreak Utah

These pictures are from Brookside Park located at the Daybreak Community in South Jordan, Utah. 

Day Break facilities manager, Don Scott met with us to discuss the success of their parks featuring Berliner playground equipment and talk about future expansions to Day Breaks pocket parks which have become a Daybreak Community signature. 

Check out all the “fun” for yourself at:
Brookside Park in Daybreak
4863 Fish Hook Road,
South Jordan, Utah 84095

“Movement is fascinating for children. It is always exciting and engaging to bounce, jump, spin, swing or seesaw. 

“This is the reason children – and even adults – have so much fun on rope-based play equipment. Rope is not dead material. Instead, it is flexible and enables a child to ‘connect’ with the equipment, as every action is followed by a reaction. Rope is a play ‘partner’ and there is always a dialog between the child playing and the structure.”  Lukas Steinke

For another opportunity to visit with Lukas Steinke, be sure to visit the Berliner booth #715 at the Landscape Architect Conference and Expo, October 20-23. Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles Convention Center

In Pursuit of Play,

Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation

Free Buddy Bench with Purchse of Playcraft Systems Playground Equipment

UTAH, IDAHO AND WYOMING SCHOOLS 

Make your playgrounds kid-friendly with “Buddy Bench”

Purchase Playcraft Systems® playground equipment and get a 
Buddy Bench Free!

BUDDY BENCH

The “Buddy Bench” is a simple idea to eliminate loneliness and foster friendship on the playground.

Maybe a child is new to your school, or their friends are absent that day, or a bully keeps picking on them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwuOlSS8lL4

EXCLUSION

Being excluded based on physical or mental differences is a common problem faced by children in school. Exclusion often leads to bullying.

BULLYING

More than 80% of bullying isn’t reported to adults out of peer pressure. Or having witnessed the event, being unprepared to do something about it.

Children form their own social structure in school naturally. But giving kids the tools and training to combat bullying and create an inclusive school climate of their own is important.

EMPATHY TRAINING

To respond empathetic, kids must see themselves as people who care and value others’ thoughts and feelings.

DIVERSITY ACCEPTANCE

By learning about differences in others, children are more accepting of this diversity and make accommodations.

FRIENDSHIP BUILDING

With a little knowledge and training, a new world opens to children with friendships that might have never been.

PLAY UNITES US ALL

By giving children the framework to develop empathy and generosity towards others an aperture to a brighter future is created.

Tools like the “Buddy Bench” are integral to this end. Playcraft Systems®

Call now! so we can include a “Buddy Bench” with your new Playcraft Systems® playground equipment order.

In Pursuit of “Inclusive” Play

Nicole Stoddard – Playcraft Systems® Representative for Utah, Idaho and Wyoming

LuckDog Call Button Blue

Utah ASLA Double Winner at 2017 Annual Meeting

Mathew Winward - Utah ASLA Merit AwardDuring the 2017 annual meeting of the Utah ASLA  (American Society of Landscape Architects) G. Brown Design won the Merit Award for their Lodestone Regional Park design. The ASLA gives the prestigious Merit Award for landscape designs that represent superior accomplishment in the profession of landscape architecture.

Mathew Winward of G. Brown Design, Site and Landscape Architects

G. Brown Design is a Landscape Architecture firm that provides full services on a wide variety of projects including Parks and Recreation projects, Urban Streetscape projects, Institutional projects, Commercial and Corporate projects, Residential projects, and Cemetery Planning & Design.  We have specific expertise in park planning and design and have received multiple awards in recent years for our parks and recreation projects including:

2017 – Merit Award, Utah Chapter of ASLA for Lodestone Regional Park, West Valley City, UT
2015 – Award of Excellence, Utah Chapter of ASLA for the Draper Senior Center, Draper Utah
2015 – Honor Award, Utah Chapter of ASLA for the Brookside Park, South Jordan Utah
2013 – Merit Award, Utah Chapter of ASLA for The Daybreak East Lake Promenade, South Jordan, UT
2011 – Honor Award, Utah Chapter of ASLA for The Daybreak East Lake Commons, South Jordan, UT

“I joined G Brown Design nearly 13 years ago in September of 2004. I have been Managing Principal of the firm since 2009, at which time Mike Wonenberg and myself took over firm management as part of an internal ownership transition from Founding Principal Gerald Brown.

Prior to my time at G Brown Design I spent 4 years with Landmark Design here in Salt Lake City.  I am originally from Preston, Idaho located in the northern end of Cache Valley. That is where I gained my love for the outdoors and began developing the creative problem-solving skills that are so important to my work as a Landscape Architect.”   Mathew Winward

Merit Award, Lodestone Regional Park in West Valley City

G Brown Landscape design for Lodestone in West Valley City - Utah ASLA Winner

G Brown Landscape Design - Lodestone in West Valley City Utah

Winner of the LuckyDog Recreation Prize

As sponsors of Utah ASLA, we were excited that Mathew Winward of G. Brown Design was also the winner of the LuckyDog Recreation prize that included an action camera and headphones. LuckyDog has been a proud sponsor of the Utah ASLA chapter for the last 5 years. Because the creative and artistic contributions landscape architects make to outdoor public areas, landmarks and structures, the annual meeting is one of our favorite conferences.

Congratulations Mathew and G. Brown Architects!

Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation

P.S. Take advantage of our July “Lunch-n-Learn” special event, specifically designed for landscape architect firms. Call to schedule, (800) 388-2196

Rope-Based Play Equipment Lunch-n-Learn Special Event!

The rope-based play equipment phenomenon is here to stay. While the concept originated in the mid-’50s in New Jersey, Berliner Seilfabrik built the first commercial grade rope-based net structure with steel-reinforced ropes in 1971.
Utah Rope-Based Play by LuckyDog Recreation and Berliner

Rope-Based Play Equipment Technology

The geometry of these net structures allows designers unlimited possibilities to entice and excite users of all ages and abilities with artistic net structures that scale to highest heights spread across rolling expanses.

Equipped with “Made in Germany” technology, communities everywhere are embracing these new designs promising:

  • More play value for user
  • Easy maintenance for operators
  • Creative solutions for designers

You have endless design options because rope-based playgrounds easily challenge the status quo of traditional post and deck systems. 

Playground Architects – ACT NOW

Beliner's Lukas Steinke -Utah Architects Lunch n Learn brought to you by LuckyDog RecreationTake advantage of a one-time opportunity to work directly with Berliner’s National Sales Manager, Lukas Steinke.

Schedule your Lunch-n-Learn with LuckyDog from July 11–13, 2017 for this exciting added bonus. 

Lukas is the CEO of Berliner’s U.S. headquarters based out of Greenville, SC. With more than 14 years of experience – both nationally and internationally – Lukas is uniquely equipped to discuss the advantages of rope-based playground solutions and the unique approach to product design by Berliner.

Benefits of Rope-Based Play

Your education session explores the benefits of rope-based play vs. traditional play and shows its potential for customization. 

“Movement is fascinating for children. It is always exciting and engaging to bounce, jump, spin, swing or seesaw. 

“This is the reason children – and even adults – have so much fun on rope-based play equipment. Rope is not dead material. Instead, it is flexible and enables a child to ‘connect’ with the equipment, as every action is followed by a reaction. Rope is a play ‘partner’ and there is always a dialog between the child playing and the structure.”  Lukas Steinke

Call Today (800) 388-2196 to Schedule

Idaho Elementary School Receives Playcraft Project of the Year Award

Ernest Hemingway Elementary receives the 2016 Playground Project of the Year Award from playground manufacturer, Playcraft Systems

Ernest Hemingway Elementary, Ketchum Idaho: The students at Ernest Hemingway Elementary have been enjoying their new playground for almost a year now. The new playground equipment replaced old equipment that had been in the ground for over 25 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rZFfowzgmI

The entire playground was designed by Playcraft Systems of Grants Pass, Oregon and installed under the direction of Blaine County Maintenance Director, Lester Wilson, who is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector. Wilson was instrumental in choosing a design that was both challenging and fun for the students and met safety requirements.  

The installation was completed in May of 2016 with the grand opening just before school let out for the summer. However, extensive planning and fundraising started the year before.

Principal Don Haisely and PTO President Laura Gvozdas persisted in making the new playground exceptional. In addition to expanding the original footprint to include more playground toys, swings and spinners, they combined the fundraising efforts of the school and the City of Ketchum, whose Parks building is adjacent to the school property. Together, these groups set a precedence; Hemingway Elementary was long overdue AND nothing less than the best would do.

Playcraft Playground Award at Ernest Hemingway Elementary

The playground fundraising efforts kicked off in May of 2015 with the Hemingway Walkathon Fundraiser where the Hemingway students raised $22,000 for their new playgroundThe fundraising committee then continued those efforts throughout 2015 by meeting with local foundations and organizations as well as circulating a fundraising mailing to individuals in our community in order to raise the funds needed for this important playground.”  Laura Gvodas, PTO President

Of all the Playcraft playgrounds installed last year, the Playcraft team chose the Hemingway playground to receive the prestigious “Project of the Year Award.” The award is given for the most improved playground, outstanding design and exceptional team work.

Nicole Stoddard, of LuckyDog Recreation represented Playcraft Systems and presented the award to Ms. Laura Gvozdas and Mr. Lester Wilson during a school assembly, May 2017. If you haven’t played on the new equipment yet, you owe it to yourself and your family to check it out. Bring a picnic, because the playground is so much fun and offers a lot to do, you will want to make a day of it. Ernest Hemingway Elementary, 111 8th Street,
Ketchum, ID 83340.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed and pushed to make this outstanding playground a reality for the kids of Ernest Hemingway Elementary.  A project of this magnitude takes great leadership, loads of attention, dedication and hundreds of contributions of time, money and effort.”  Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation

Playcraft Systems Project of the Year Award to LuckyDog Recreation

Ernest Hemingway Elementary School Playground Ribbon Cutting

Ernest Hemingway Elementary School Playground Grand Opening

Playcraft Systems Playground Equipment at Ernest Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum Idaho

Ketchum Idaho Kids at Play on Playcraft Systems Playground Equipment

For National Playground Safety Week We Are Partnering Up

The Utah Department of Health and LuckyDog Recreation
support National Playground Safety Week

 Monday the Utah Health Department will be kicking off
National Playground Safety Week and you are invited.

The Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake County Health Department, and LuckyDog Recreation will conduct a playground inspection to highlight common safety hazards and effective ways to prevent injuries on playgrounds. The event will coincide with National Playground Safety Week, held April 24-28, 2017.

Each year, nearly 1,700 Utah elementary school-aged children are injured on school playgrounds. That’s enough children to fill 68 average Utah elementary school classrooms.

Speakers will include:

  • Zach Torres-George, environmental health scientist, Salt Lake County Health Department
  • Christine Christensen, principal, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Hillary Campbell, student injury reporting technician, Utah Department of Health

Monday, April 24, 2017 9:15 a.m.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
2567 Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

NOTE: Parking available in the lot adjacent to the school

Playground Injuries Have Decreased

Busy Bee's Playground in Roy Utah - By PlayCraft Playgrounds and LuckyDog Recreation pre-school playground for Busy Bee's Playhouse in Roy, Utah

  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission playground injuries have significantly decreased year after year since 2001. This occurrence is due to increased awareness, higher safety standards and big changes in the playground industry such as:
  • Manufactures – Playground manufactures are building safer playgrounds by making sure all hardware is covered and platforms are protected with small gauged guardrails.
  • Playground Surfacing – Every year we see new and improved playground surfacing. When surfacing products are installed and maintained according to code they are more effective in preventing injuries.
  • CPSI – All public playgrounds are required to be inspected by Certified Playground Safety Inspectors who understand playground safety issues including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods.
  • Playground Designs – Today’s public playgrounds are built within safety zones and the play equipment is situated to prevent over crowding. For example, swing sets are placed away from other play equipment.

Too Many Utah Children Injured – Still More to Do

All though injuries are down, too many Utah children are still injured on playgrounds.

For 2008, the Department of Health reports:

  • 70% of student injuries occur on the playground or play-field.
  • Two-thirds (65.2%) of these injuries happen during recess.
  • The activities during which injuries occur the most are playing on bars (20.7%), running (18%), and walking (11%).
  • The most common injuries received are possible fracture/broken, cut/laceration, bump/bruise/contusion, sprain/strain/tear, and possible concussion.

Health Department Fact Sheet – PDF

Health Department Student Injuries – PDF

How To Improve Playground Safety

With manufacturers building safer playgrounds every year, what else can be done to prevent playground injuries?

Choose your playgrounds wisely.

  • Make sure your school has a well maintained playground with the proper safety surfacing. Be sure that the school has supervised play rules in place.
  • Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate to your child’s age, are well maintained and the safety surfacing is in good condition.
  • Check for hazards or broken equipment.
  • Continuously supervise your children while they are at play.

Teach our children playground safety – Parents and teachers alike can teach children to play safe.

  • Teach children to use playground and sports equipment properly. Check to see that sports equipment is age appropriate and fits properly.
  • Remind children to be aware and kind. Pushing and shoving can lead to injuries.

Slyde the Playground Hound

Utah Playground Safety Week - Teach playground safety with Slyde The Playground Hound. Slyde the Playground Hound is always ready and willing to teach playground safety. Here are 10 Fun and Easy Ways that Slyde can help you teach playground safety during “Playground Safety Week.”

Also Slyde would like you to have your free copy of the “Public Playground Safety Handbook”.

So join us for “Playground Safety Week.”

In Pursuit of (Safe) Play,

Rhetta McIff – LuckyDog Recreation – Utah Playgrounds, Creative Designer

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