Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Find rubber mat surfacing at these Chapel Hill playgrounds

Posted November 2, 2010 8:48 p.m. EDT

Community Center park is one of several parks in Chapel Hill that has rubber mat surfacing instead of sand or mulch.

And another installment in what's become a series on rubber mat surfacing in area playgrounds. This time it's Chapel Hill.

And when I say rubber mat surfacing, I'm talking about those springy, rubber mats that replace mulch or sand under the swings, slide and monkey bars.

You'll find them in Chapel Hill at:

  • Hargroves Park, 216 North Roberson St.
  • Homestead Park, 300 Northern Park Dr.
  • Community Center Park, which I reviewed last week, at 120 South Estes Dr.
  • And not at Oakwood Park, 20 Oakwood Dr., yet. But Bill Webster, the town's assistant parks director, tells me that the town plans a major overhaul of this park and at least a portion of the brand new playground will include the rubber mat surfacing. That project is expected to start sometime next year and Webster tells me the public will have input on the playground design. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Webster tells me rubber mats are much more expensive than the traditional sand or mulch at least in the beginning. But sand and mulch have to be regularly replaced as it's washed away (or as you all know kids bring it home in their shoes and diapers).

The mats required very little maintenance and, as a reader pointed out last week, make the playground more accessible for kids with disabilities.

Here are Raleigh playgrounds with rubber mats and Durham playgrounds. I'll update with more next week.