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Tulsa Short on Playgrounds

Although there are 92 playgrounds in metropolitan Tulsa, Okla., Greg Warren, the city parks resource manager, estimates there is a shortage of about 20 playgrounds for the area children. The city parks department receives about $5 million per year for all park improvements, but only about $60,000 to $75,000 for the construction of playgrounds each year. In addition, budget cuts have forced the Tulsa City Parks Department to make significant cutbacks in personnel.

Warren told the Tulsa Free Press that safety issues make the construction of playgrounds an expensive undertaking because it is "necessary to build a containment arch for shock absorbency underneath the playgrounds." The construction of small residential parks would help, but Warren notes that many construction companies fear legal action in case of playground injuries.

Still, the parks department is adding more modern and safer equipment. The older swings sets containing lead were recently removed, although only four were replaced.

The parks department reports the county was without a new playground for 25 years, but in 2002, four modern playgrounds were built in Green Country to ADA specifications, with age-appropriate equipment and rubberized uniflex surfacing (landscape architect Michael Woody worked on the project).

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December 8, 2019, 7:50 am PDT

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