Editor's Desk - September 2011
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Don't (Forget to) Look Down

Before I started working for Recreation Management, there were a lot of things I took for granted. The bike paths I rode every week. The cross-country ski trails I enjoyed. The picnic areas where I sat to have a good read with a cup of coffee. And going back further, the playgrounds I swung, climbed and slid on as a kid. The fields, floors and facilities where I ran, swung, jumped and kicked during gym class. The track I logged all those high school miles on. The stage I danced on.

They were there—and I always took it for granted that they had always been there, and would always be there.

Then, of course, I started here, covering managed recreation, sports and fitness facilities, and my eyes were opened to the complexity of the decisions that must be made every time a facility is built, or even just updated.

Now I find myself looking down wherever I go. I'm fascinated by things I never thought of before. What kind of ballfield is the team playing on? Is it grass? What's this floor in the aerobics studio? What kind of surface did they choose for this playground? Why did the park district choose wood instead of a synthetic gym floor, I wonder? When was this track built, and is there a better one nearby?

This month's supplement takes a closer look, and hopefully provides some guidance and answers as you make these complex decisions at your own facility. Here, we cover turf choices for sports fields, flooring for sports courts and fitness areas, and safety surface options for playgrounds. Even with all of this, we only scratch the surface of the surfaces that are out there. If there's a surface you're thinking about that's not covered here, let us know! We would love to know—and let other readers know—about the ins and outs of the decisions you're making for your own facility.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director


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