Nature’sPlus is an engineered wood fiber (EWF), a cost-effective and natural playground surfacing option. Created and produced by SafetyFirst Playground Maintenance, Nature’sPlus reimagines traditional playground wood chips or rubber mulch.
SafetyFirst understood the issues many schools encountered sourcing playground surfacing material that was safe and clean for children. Often playground surfacing was and continues to be made from whole tree chips that are quickly susceptible to mold or pallets that include traces of metal; neither option was going to cut it for SafetyFirst. So, we took it upon ourselves to find a playground surfacing that was child safe, clean, natural, and long-lasting. And so, Nature’sPlus was created.
Why Use Nature’sPlus
Nature’sPlus sets the industry standard for playground surfacing. Starting from the manufacturing process to how it is delivered, SafetyFirst upholds its value so our clients receive a product deserving of their children’s play.
1. Made from Local Tamarack Trees
Nature’sPlus is produced from a single material, the Tamarack tree, a local resource to our location in Minnesota. The Tamarack tree was carefully selected because of its natural ability to resist water, decay, and mold.
Since the material is not susceptible to environmental impacts, it creates a clean solution to ensuring longevity. Nature’sPlus is 100% Tamarack tree, making it a natural and durable surfacing option.
Above is a video comparing traditional wood chips (left) versus Nature’sPlus (right). This is a real-life example of the invasive mold that took over a Minnesota playground only a year after it was installed. But good news, it will now be replaced with Nature’sPlus, which will last significantly longer than a year!
The Tamarack trees used for Nature’sPlus are harvested using the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. For the trees harvested, new ones are replanted in order to replenish and sustain our environment.
2. Meticulous Manufacturing Process
When Nature’sPlus is manufactured, it undergoes a thorough process not commonly used in the playground surfacing industry. First, all the bark, twigs, and leaves are removed from the tree so only the live stem wood is remaining. This is the only material that is used in the production of the engineered wood fiber.
When the bark, twigs, leaves, dirt, and all other materials are not removed and are included in the production process, it increases the wood chips decay rate. The added organic material does not uphold the same decay and mold resistance as the stem wood. A majority of playground wood chips are produced using this process, which is why they typically decay quicker.
3. Elevated Safety Standards
Not only is Nature’sPlus a clean product, but it provides incredible safety features as well. Nature’sPlus has a certified to fall heights of 18 feet, making it safer than many other surfacing products on the market.
It is IPEMA certified, meaning it complies with the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association’s standard for safety. Safety standards are in place to protect the children at play, and Nature’sPlus makes sure the fun continues day after day.
4. ADA Compliant Playground Surface
Inclusivity is an important aspect of every playground. Playgrounds should have the features in place so every child can play right alongside their friends, and Nature’sPlus offers the surfacing solution for inclusive play. The knitted layering of the engineered wood fiber allows wheelchair accessibility. It encourages children, of all abilities, to join in the fun!
Nature’sPlus passes ASTM 1292 for Surface Attenuation and ASTM 1951 for ADA Accessibility.
5. Chain of Custody
When Nature’sPlus is delivered to and installed for our clients, they are guaranteed a clean product. We control every step of the transportation process so it is not exposed to any unwanted elements.
Specifically, our delivery trailers are only used to haul Nature’sPlus. That means there is no other product or material transported using the trailer, eliminating the possibility for potential exposure. Oftentimes in our industry, the trailers are used for multiple different purposes, especially for backhauling items after delivering the surfacing. The items picked up and hauled on the way back can range from garbage to grain. This is the same trailer that is used to haul the material used in playgrounds. We eliminate this cross exposure by solely using our trailer to transport Nature’sPlus.
Is Nature’sPlus right for you?
It’s that time of year again to start planning for this Spring’s playground project! If you want to renew your surfacing or are planning a new playground build, contact SafetyFirst to discuss Nature’sPlus as your clean, safe, and durable surfacing option.
Or purchase Nature’sPlus directly, and you’ll be on your way to a safer playground for the children!