Rubber Mulch [was Pea gravel "pit" around playstructure]
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2006 05:24:56 -0700 (PDT)

On Oct 15, 2006, at 12:20 AM, tamgoddess [at] wrote:

It's recycled rubber tire, and it comes in different colors. It looks like bark, so it's visually very pleasing. But it's ENORMOUSLY more comfortable and more importantly, safe. We researched this very thoroughly, it's eco-friendly, and this is the best stuff available. It's not cheap, but it SO worth it. I think we spent a couple thousand dollars.

We also have rubber mulch and it is fabulous. If you can't afford a full truck load, put down as much as you can afford and add some each year. For little kids, 4" is the recommended depth; for high slides and climbing structures, 6". You can buy it by the bag (the size of a large bag of plant soil is about $8). Treadspead is what we used. Be sure to look for a local supplier since it is heavy to truck or ship. Be sure to get playground quality, not landscaping quality, because it has 99% of the steel wiring removed. The suppliers we purchased from sell only the playground quality even for mulch, but there are inferior products out there. All you have to do is ask it the product is approved for playgrounds.

The kids use it like sand so we do not need a sand pile which parents resisted because of tracking sand and sand in hair, etc. When the mulch gets on the sidewalks, it is easily swept back in the pit. Put down weed cloth first and teach the kids not to pull up the weed cloth which they actually can't see unless they really dig.

If you live in the Maryland area, Tri-State is $7.50, RELS is $8.99. We were able to get three free bags from a Maryland agency that supports conservation (forget the exact name) to show our residents before we went whole hog. You can actually buy incredible colors (very expensive) but the standard is brown, brick red, and black.

Tri State Stone
8200 Seven Locks Road
Bethseda, MD 20814
(301) 365-2100

RELS Trucking
15300 Layhill Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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