A rubber mulch made from recycled and shredded tires was laid at the two parks last week.
“The green mulch gives the impression of a clean, grassy playground,” said Councilman At Large Herb Gaspard. “It also creates a much safer playground for the kids. The company states six inches of this product should prevent a child receiving injuries from a six foot fall.”
Three years ago, both playgrounds were in need of ground coverings and wood mulch was used. Ninety percent of this mulch has already decomposed, leaving only compacted dirt as the ground cover.
The councilman was first introduced to the product when he and fellow councilman, Jerry Touchet, attended an LMA convention. Impressed with what they saw, they came home and began researching the various companies who manufactured the rubber mulch, along with price comparison.
Upon selecting a company, the next step was to present the $16,000 cost to the Finance Committee.
“Even though the wood mulch is much cheaper, we are having to replenish every 2-3 years,” said Gaspard. “The rubber mulch is more cost effective. It is also safer, non toxic, non abrasive, non staining, soft, eco-friendly and will last a lifetime.”
Funded by interests accumulated from city investments, there is zero cost to the city, added Gaspard.
Kid Wise, a company from Alabama, delivered 24 pallets to the Kaplan City yard.
City workers then loaded the 30 pounds bags on a trailer to deliver it to the east and west playgrounds where the bags were emptied and leveled off with rakes.
“This will give our kids an environmentally safe and accident free playground for many years to come,” Gaspard said.