Looking for tips for backyard playground - specific to ground work

I will be building a backyard playground this spring. I have been searching online and most of what I find is "free plans"
I was planning on using pea gravel as a base, but I want to make sure I have proper drainage.
I was planning on leveling and digging down some with my tractor. Installing all of the poles Putting down a heavy layer of plastic Timbers around the edges to contain the gravel. Then filling with pea gravel.
But I think I need to add something for drainage.
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I'd dig it down a little deeper and put in a foot or so of coarse gravel or crushed stone then landscape fabric (instead of plastic) then bark mulch..Much softer and less scraped knees...
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I don't want to have mulch that rots.
The reason for the plastic is to allow me to remove the rock at a later date, but then again this isn't probably an issue.
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I don't want to have mulch that rots.
The reason for the plastic is to allow me to remove the rock at a later date, but then again this isn't probably an issue.
BARK mulch will outlast you...All the public playgrounds around here are constructed the way I outlined above..If you have your mind already made up , why did you ask for advice ?? Put down your plastic and peastone and get back to us on how it drains...
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On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 20:00:59 -0800 (PST), theedudenator

    There is a rubber produce that looks like mulch and is a lot softer than rock.
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benick wrote:

I agree. First, using plain sheet plastic will prevent water from draining. Landscape fabric, also plastic, is permeable and allows drainage. I hate pea gravel, from the days in the playground - it raises dust and gets scattered all over. Shredded cypress mulch is nice and fine, stays down pretty well. Needs to be replaced or replenished every couple of years - nice and soft. Occ. sliver? Safer than timbers. How about the interlocking rubbery flooring? Outdoor carpet over gravel?
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"theedudenator" wrote

Why the plastic? It seems that is what creates the drainage problem?
Sand BTW is safer when kids fall (and they will at times) but has it's own problems as local 4 footed thingies that go 'meow' find it and then you get kids with worms and such (grin).
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Rather than making a huge litter box for wandering felines, best do some research on how school playgrounds are done. There might well be some systems within your budget that would work well and last a long time without more than cursory maintenance. For openers, how about Astroturf or some of it's variations? The grounds management folks at your local school system could have some good ideas, too, even if it is pointing out mistakes they made, (if any).
Joe
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On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:37:17 -0800 (PST), theedudenator

Pine bark or wood chips are better than gravel. Pine bark is softer to play on. Gravel stays forever and you might want to change it into a garden after the kids are gone.
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I've had very good results with grass. It gets bare spots under the swings, but that's just the way it is.
I bought a "kit" from a lumber store (and all of the lumber, of course). From my experience with two girls using it the hardware that comes with it is too wimpy. Forget about using 5/16" bolts and get 1/2". Install the posts (including the A frame, if you have one) in several hundred pounds of concrete. Get some good quality heavy-duty swing hardware that is meant for a real playground and attach with 1/2" bolts. Also get some 800 pound chain for the swings and forget about the small chain that comes with most backyard swing sets. Don't use anything smaller than 4x4s for the structure. If it calls for a 2x6 brace use a 2x10 instead and four bolts to attach it instead of two. If you have boys then you might have to beef it up a little more ;-)
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Also very good advice.....
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