Welcome To Evolve Play
We are a premier manufacturer of natural themed play, climbing, and therapy products. We offer a wide range of products and services designed to promote active play, active imaginations, and active therapy into any new or existing environment. Our industry leading products include Boulders, Portable Rock Climbing Wall, Indoor Rock Climbing Walls, Modular Climbing Panel, Custom Creations, and Playground Accessories all handmade in the United States. At Evolve Play, everything that we do is embodied by our mantra “Imagination Without Limits”. Developed nearly 15 years ago, our patented material is truly the next evolution in natural themed products. Our goal was to create a product offering the ease and weight of a plastic, the durability of concrete, and an unbelievably natural appearance. By combining these attributes we have created the new standard. The Evolve material allows our products to be easier to install, maintenance free, and aesthetically unrivaled.
Climbing Walls & Panels
When is play exercise or exercise playful?
Great Britain’s Youth Sport Trust charity recently conducted a survey by contacting 1,000 children who were aged 5 to 16 about their gaming habits. The results revealed that 25% of the children polled feels that video games are exercise. Even more shocking is that the percentage rose to 31 percent among seven and eight year old children. The study also revealed that children are spending roughly 3 hours a day engaging in screen-based activities.
While some will shake their heads and say “but this isn’t in OUR country,” findings in the US are not a lot better, where 24% of teens agree with the statement that they are “constantly online.” With universities like Robert Morris University of Chicago adding online sports to its athletic program and planning scholarships based on video gaming, the trends are not progressing in a healthy way, no matter where you live.
And despite what one might think, there are people on both sides of the “is video gaming a sport” argument who are fiercely defensive of their position. The “pro-active life” side stresses that video gaming is not a sport, as sports require athletic skill, conditioning, and strength, while video games involve sitting and pushing buttons. They think that including video gaming as a sport is an insult to the many athletes who work hard to develop physical skills like endurance, speed, strength, and perseverance. In their mind, video games are as much a sport as watching movies.
The “pro gaming” camp says video gaming is a virtual sport, requiring just as much skill and mental focus as any sport. “After all,” they say, “chess is a sport, and like video games, requires strategy, is played worldwide, and is a competitive game. One must learn how their opponents play, must practice, and must understand the rules of each game.”
No matter which side a person is on, the fact is that people are sitting way too much and actively exercising way too little. The very word “exercise” is avoided in most programming, advertising, and discussions. When did exercise become a bad word? School programs focus on “physical activity,” health clubs eschew the value of “fitness” but no one wants to use the “E” word, for fear of alienating people. While the dictionary defines exercise as “physical activity that is done in order to become stronger and healthier,” the word exercise has become marketing anathema. According to most, exercise isn’t fun.
Five Park and Recreation Trends from the 2015 Field Report
You probably already know that PRORAGIS is a powerful tool to help you compare your agency to others on many measures. You may even know that each year, NRPA takes a look at all the data that is in PRORAGIS and provides an analysis of how the field is doing as whole.
How’d we do with our budgets and staffing?
How’d we do with operations and maintenance?
How’d we do with programming and attendance?
The answers are all in the NRPA 2015 Field Report – A Parks and Recreation National Database Analysis.
As you look at all this collective data, you can start to see trends. One of the most important things to be aware of is the trends facing parks and recreation. Why? Because we have to understand where we are going and what may have an impact on our roles and future to prepare for those influences and stay relevant.
As part of our annual analysis of the data in PRORAGIS, we identified five trends that will impact the future of parks and recreation.
Trend 1: Programs are key to great park attendance.
The public likes programs in parks. When there are programs in parks attendance is stronger. When you don’t have programs in parks it can lead to a slew of consequences – less use, less public support, reduced budgets and more. One caution – watch out for those mandates on cost recovery and the unintended social inequity that could be a result.
Trend 2: The perceived value of distributed services results in agency functions assigned to various departments.
The recession resulted in a lot of restructuring of departments and shifting roles. One thing is for certain, when a single department carries out all the park and recreation responsibilities, operations are most effective. If your agency can position itself as a valuable essential service and optimize your services, you’ll fare best.
Trend 3: Agencies are pioneering new funding methods.
We have to remember that the “new normal” of shrinking municipal budgets doesn’t necessarily mean there is less public support or demand. Getting creative to maximize this demand and bolster your revenue can be critical. In fact, during the recession those agencies and special districts that invested in revenue-producing facilities fared better than others. Keep in mind that you’ll want to retain revenues for agency operations for success. The Analysis report has a few examples.
Trend 4: Infrastructure deficit means you’ll have to fight harder for public dollars.
The nation’s infrastructure of state roads, highways, bridges, dams, sewers and more are well over-due for replacement, renovation or renewal. Funding for these projects will compete with yours. But you can address this – be at the infrastructure table to discuss park needs and how you provide innovative solutions to the infrastructure challenge.
Trend 5: Walkable cities draw Millennials, fueling a suburban exodus.
The Millennials are here and have moved into the center of influence with their distinct views and behaviors. Research shows they are drawn to walkable environments with cultural amenities. Not only do you have to think about how you can serve their interests and harness their influential power, but we have to consider the shifts that are happening in our urban cores. Will disadvantaged populations be pushed into the suburbs? What does that mean for the services we provide?
The NRPA 2015 Field Report – A Parks and Recreation National Database Analysis has all of the trends and the data you need to understand the current landscape of our field and where we are going. Not only that, to honor NRPA’s 50th Anniversary, the report takes a look back on a half-century of prioritizing data with fascinating results.