Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Find rubber mat surfacing at these Raleigh playgrounds

Posted October 17, 2010

Ritter Park is in Cary.

I got a question on Twitter about a week ago from a mom looking for something other than mulch or sand surfacing at Raleigh parks.

We're talking the rubberized surfacing that I pointed out in my review of Cary's Ritter Park on Friday. Many parks in Cary have this surfacing. And there are other parks in the area that have them as well. But this mom was looking specifically for parks in Raleigh.

I shot her a list with a couple. But here's the full list from the city's parks department. Some of the playgrounds have a poured in place rubber mat. Others have rubber tiles.

So if you're tired of pulling out sand or mulch from your kid's diapers, shoes and other crevices, here's the list, with addresses, what kind of surface it is and links to the two that I've reviewed so far:

  • Marsh Creek Park Playground, 3016 New Hope Rd., poured in place
  • Lions Park Playground, 516 Dennis Ave., poured in place
  • Lockwood Park Playground, 1200 Crabtree Blvd., poured in place
  • Southgate Park Playground, 1801 Proctor St., poured in place
  • Brier Creek School/Community Park (3 playgrounds), 10810 Globe Rd., poured in place and rubber tiles
  • Greystone Recreation Center, 7713 Lead Mine Rd., poured in place. (This is an indoor playground).
  • Roanoke Neighborhood Park, 1500 Cherokee Dr. A portion of the playground has a poured in place rubber mat.
  • Kentwood Park, 4531 Kaplan Dr. rubber tiles
  • Anderson Point Park, Rogers Lane, a portion has rubber surfacing.

The city has more than 60 playgrounds. And the rubber mats are more expensive than traditional sand or mulch surfacing. But city park staff tells me they are trying to move toward the rubber mats whenever possible.

The mom on Twitter asked specifically about Raleigh. So I'm starting here. But I'll check out other parks in the area as well. And feel free to post your favorites in the comments.


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  • margaretted Oct 20, 2010

    People also used to use the bathroom outside but I don't think anyone is advocating for going back to that. Rubber surfaces reduce injuries, are easier for children with disabilities to manipulate, and are more sanitary. Sometimes progress is a good thing.

  • 4Cats Oct 18, 2010

    I think it is funny how we go to such extremes these days in the name of 'safety'. I mean many of us grew up with playground sets made of metal that would take your skin off on a hot day, and the slide dumped you out onto concrete...we turned out just fine!

    I think the fear of getting sued is taking the fun and adventure out of life.

  • shall6 Oct 18, 2010

    Very true! Thanks jinx.


  • jinx Oct 18, 2010

    Just wanted to point out that these surfaces are much more handicapped-accessible for children who have disabilities, be they in wheelchairs or simply have difficulty moving around like other children: Coordination problems and gross-motor function delays can really cause difficulties for children on sandy surfaces and other lumpy/bumpy playground surfaces. I highly recommend the rubber surfaces to anyone planning a public park.