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Description: Review of sand maintenance under monkey bars
Status: Closed
Department: Playground
Categories: Service, Enforcement
Opened: April 19, 2006

Playground Sand Maintenance

Request date: April 19, 2006

Since broken arms on monkey bars (photo below) are statistically the most common playground injury, the rec staff are conforming to CAS standards by digging up the dirt every week (either themselves or supervising a court-ordered community service worker). Please let us know if the maintenance supervisor has any other playground maintenance plans for this season.

Response date: April 19 2006

the rec staff should not be doing this. Recreation supervisor will process a work order to have this looked after, as per City of Toronto standards.

Response to response, April 19 2006

The CSA standards have not been maintained at the playground for ground softness, and last year a kid broke his arm in the classic way described in the playground safety literature. Then the staff did the digging, and right after, the City did the test with their ground-softness measuring instrument. It worked! Se we found that the quickest way to keep the ground soft was by frequent digging up directly under the monkey bars.

This could be looked at as a program safety measure and therefore it could be justified as a rec responsibility. Maybe the rec staff would love to save the time, if Local 416 workers did it. However, then it will need to be done every week just the same. If they change the way it's done, they'll have to justify it by testing the ground. The ground under the monkey bars (not everywhere else) needs to be soft.

Safety first, yes?

Request date: May 08, 2006

Just to catch up -- when was this done by maintenance (Joe Eschweiler) -- last Thursday? Is there a schedule for this? Who's keeping the record?

Repeat request, May 16, 2006

Tino, could you please ask Dave when the sand softening maintenance was last done, where (i.e under which pieces of equipment) and where it's being recorded? We would like to record it also.

Repeat request, May 21, 2006

There was a very big hollow at the bottom of the slide so the rec staff filled it in yesterday. He also filled in the holes under the swings and loosened the dirt under the higher monkey bars. The other playground climbing areas are okay at the moment. Could you let the rec staff know the maintenance staff schedule for CSA-mandated ground softening under the climbing areas, swings, and landing points from slides?

Action response, May - June 2006

The sand under climbing structures appears to have been dug up once a week, even though there has been no direct communication between rec staff and park maintenance staff about the ground-softening schedule. The sand now seems adquately soft under the structures, for the first time in many years.

request from park user Ted Miller to Councillor Adam Giambrone

I would like to see two very specific things done:

1. more regular litter-picking/raking of the playground area to remove wrappers, bottles, stones, sticks etc. from the playground surface

2. better surface material installed for the areas directly underneath the playground equipment. it is my understanding that the City is using a new crushed limestone material at other parks - why hasnt the Dufferin Grove playground been updated with this material? The current material is dusty and compacted, leading to injuries and aggravating allergies.

Honestly, this is got to be one of the busiest, most appreciated parks in the entire city. Let start giving it the attention it deserves.

Response from Councillor Giambrone, June 28, 2006

Thanks for your email. I am going to let Tino Decastro respond and see what our staff have to say. Also have you tried to speak with Jutta Mason?

Letter from Ted Miller, June 29 2006

I just got a call from Peter Lee, the Park Supervisor for Wards 14, 18 and 19. He told me that the playground is cleaned by maintenance crews daily. I told him that I have never seen a maintenance worker in the playground area and I go just about every day. Anyway, that's the schedule they are supposed to be following. With regard to the surface, he said that all the parks will be done eventually with the new material, but he is not sure where DGP stands on the list. So far, less than 25% of the parks have been done. He said he would try to get DGP moved up in the priority list, but that it is not directly under his jurisdiction. Parks Tech Services handles the installations, so C. Giambrone would need to get involved to light a fire there.

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