Department of Environmental Conservation

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Playground Equipment (File #420)

Campgrounds operated in the Adirondacks and Catskills by the Department of Environmental Conservation are considered part of New York's Forest Preserve. The state constitution mandate is to protect the Forest Preserve while providing recreational opportunities that are compatible with the "wild forest" character of the Forest Preserve. With that, any playground development or equipment in the Forest Preserve campgrounds and day-use areas must meet certain guidelines. Playground areas and/or equipment should be relatively unobtrusive, making use of locations, materials, and colors that blend in as much as possible with the natural landscape.

The safety of our patrons is also an important consideration. Any playground area or equipment in campgrounds and day-use areas must meet established Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Guidelines and American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) Standards and be inspected on a regular basis.

Existing Playground Equipment

Currently-existing playground apparatus will be allowed to remain provided that this equipment meets current CPSC Guidelines and ASTM Standards and be inspected on a regular basis.

New Equipment or Expansion

Any new equipment or expansion of a playground must receive prior approval from the Bureau of Recreation and must be approved in the Unit Management Plan.

Safety Inspection Training

Training will be conducted by a Certified Playground Safety Inspector who has completed the course Certification for Playground Safety Inspectors provided by the National Playground Safety Institute and who possesses a valid certificate. Training will be offered each Spring to Regional Recreational Personnel and to appropriate maintenance staff members that are employed at facilities that have playground equipment present. Training will consist of "how to" and "what to" look for while conducting daily or weekly inspections. The Certified Playground Safety Inspector will visit the playgrounds throughout the facilities to familiarize the maintenance staff with the Department's Safety Inspection form.

Playground areas and equipment must be inspected on a minimum of a weekly basis during the operating seasons to ensure safety to the public. The Regional Operations Supervisor or their designee are responsible for conducting inspections using the following Playground Safety Inspection Report. Any deficiencies should be corrected immediately. If that is not possible, use of the deficient equipment/area must be prohibited until corrections are made, and should be reported to the Certified Playground Safety Inspector at the earliest convenience.

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