Media Releases

Town investigating alternative to sponge playground surfaces in parks

Unsuccessful attempts to find a contractor to repair the sponge playground surface in the Beacon Street Park have led the Town of Amherst to investigate an alternative product to make the repairs – a wood carpet.

After council approved $20,000 to repair the sponge playground surface in its 2022-23 capital budget, staff contacted numerous suppliers that specialize in installing sponge playground surfaces. However, the contractors did not carry the product needed to repair the playground surface or declined to offer a quote due to the surface’s age and condition.

As a result, staff have been investigating an alternative product know as wood carpet, which is engineered from wood fibre and is promoted as being a cost-effective alternative to sponge surfaces.

A supplier of the product has offered to provide enough wood carpet at no cost to the town to make repairs to the Beacon Street Park’s playground surface. This would give staff the opportunity to evaluate the project for its durability and consideration for future projects.

Should it perform well, staff may recommend the remaining sponge surface at the park be removed and replaced with wood carpet at the park at a cost of about $20,000.

It is expected the test will be carried out next summer.