Facility Profile - March 2009
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In The Wake of Disaster

Lake Charles Park & Recreation in Lake Charles, La.

By Richie Ward

The City of Lake Charles will enjoy another added benefit of shade protection: playground equipment investment protection. Since the city has invested heavily in its playground infrastructure, protection of that investment and equipment longevity are two important considerations. Adding shade protection to cover playground equipment or other outdoor park structures will reduce the sun's harmful UV rays by up to 99 percent. This tremendous benefit will help protect the City of Lake Charles' valuable investment by ensuring costly playground equipment is virtually shielded from damaging UV rays.

Once the decision to add shade protection to the newly rebuilt City of Lake Charles parks had been made, aesthetics and engineering were the next considerations in the process. Many different types of shade structures are available for parks and playground use. However, a primary consideration of the city called for a structure that could sustain the intense winds and storms Lake Charles experiences every year.

Pat Moore of Moore Planning Group led the vendor-selection process and based the decision to go with Shade Systems on the company's warranty support, aesthetically pleasing structures, high wind loads and easy-to-use functionality for removing and reattaching a canopy once it has been installed.

The City of Lake Charles sought an aesthetically pleasing design that was not only impressive and visually appealing, but extremely functional and versatile as well. After exploring several options and product lines, the city chose a custom "sail" system for the seven-park project. The sails feature stainless-steel connections and hardware for long life while being pre-engineered in a way to add visual interest to the parks' skyline. As desired, sails protect children and citizens from 99 percent of the sun's harmful UV rays and keep the playgrounds much cooler.

Installation has been very successful, and the sails have certainly added many positive benefits to the City of Lake Charles parks.

Mayor Ranch Roach and staff have expressed satisfaction with the products and the much-needed shade provided at the park sites where the sails were installed. There is no doubt that children are able to use the Lake Charles playground facilities more than they normally would now that the playground equipment is cool enough to play on during the midday hours. And the city is benefiting as well by providing increased safety to their citizens with shade protection and also benefiting from the investment protection they're receiving.


City of Lake Charles, La.:

Shade Systems Inc.: