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Iowa Playgrounds Get Free Padding

This play structure in Cherokee, Iowa was originally installed with a sand surface. Workers installed concrete slabs before laying down the rubber pads.

Schools, parks and other Iowa facilities can get free padded playground surfaces through a program run by the University of Northern Iowa's National Program for Playground Safety.

Over the past two years the program has put "tiles" of recycled tire rubber worth close to $35,000 at more than two dozen playgrounds in the state. The SAFE Surfacing Initiative is funded by the Iowa state legislature to help researchers determine if the padded surface reduces injury rates.

To receive the upgrade, participants must agree to share preparation and installation costs and to participate in a long-term study on accident rates.

Program applications can be filled out online at Winning applicants will be notified in May, 2005.

The Cherokee, Iowa playground is seen here after close to 2,500 square feet of rubber padding was installed as part of a state-funded program studying playground safety.

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December 8, 2019, 7:41 am PDT

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