Options For Aquatics And ADA-Compliance      

I have recently visited a few outdoor aquatic parks both large and small and have found something disturbing in common regarding access for the disabled. With all the money spent on providing a lift for the leisure river, it rarely gets used because it can be difficult to transfer from a lift to an inner tube.  I even saw a birthday party going on with some kids and there were two kids in wheelchairs present. Neither of them could enter the splash pad with the others or they would damage their expensive wheelchair. So even though the aquatic facility was ADA-compliant, it was difficult or not an option to get their chair soaked.

There are aquatic wheelchairs available out there for a reasonable cost that can allow these kids and adults to enjoy more of the aquatic facility. There are transfer systems out there that get more use than a lift and can be used as a primary ADA access instead of a lift. There are floating wheelchairs out there to allow the use of the splash pad and the leisure river and also enjoy the pool with everyone else. Now that’s getting wet!

If you have an aquatic facility, try entering it in a wheelchair, and see how much of the aquatic park you are able to enjoy. It’s not much when you can’t expose the wheelchair to chlorinated water.

Douglas Hancock

Rehab Systems, LLC


Word On The Web

On “Can’t Go Back,” Sept. 26 Week-Ender blog:


Your article on football memories was a great review of the “good ole days” which I closely relate to. My youngest son was a 1st team all-state center in high school and played at Indiana University when they regularly went to bowl games.

I now have grandsons that are further along and I have adjusted to the new paradigm of today's youth football—tryout evaluations, bidding/competing for players, playoffs, traveling teams, all-star teams, year-round indoor leagues, networking, politics, etc. I better stop this list before I get depressed. There is hope in the grandkids if you're willing to adjust and move on—just don't look back too often. I feel your pain!

Rich Irish

Training and Aquatic Risk Manager

Director, Starfish Aquatics Training

Department of Parks & Recreation

Indianapolis, Ind.


Book Puts More People In Hot Water

The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) announces the new release of a free digital book,

Hot Water & Healthy Living, Gen 2.0. Previously published in print by the non-profit organization, the new flipbook has an interactive format that makes information more interesting, more useful, and easy to share.

Hot Water & Healthy Living Gen. 2.0 reveals how 20 minutes a day soaking in warm water makes for healthier bodies, hearts, minds and lifestyles. The flipbook highlights the work of researchers, as it explains what, for centuries, people have wondered about — why they feel so refreshed after immersing in a bath or a hot tub.


Field Notes

Dixie Chopper donated a Kawasaki powered Silver Eagle 2760 to Loving Hands Dade City, in Dade City, Fla. Loving Hands Dade City is an 18-month program that rehabilitates men who are experiencing life-controlling problems.

Shawn McIntosh has been hired by Kaivac, developers of the No-Touch and OmniFlex Cleaning systems, as the company’s territory manager for the state of Florida and the Southeastern section of the United States.

BioSafe Systems has hired Abigail Tobey as the Brand Manager for the Retail market. She will contribute to the marketing efforts, including retailer marketing, public relations and company branding.

Titan, a provider of professional-grade sprayers and application equipment, announced the acquisition of Advanced Striping Equipment, Inc. (ASE). Based in Douglasville, Ga., ASE manufactures specialized road marking equipment including thermoplastic walk-behind machines, intermediate stripers, and truck-mounted units.

R.A. Smith National—a multi-disciplined civil engineering and surveying firm in Brookfield, Wis.—hired Todd Mosher as senior development director in the firm’s newest office in Naperville, Ill. He has more than 25 years of experience in the development and project management of commercial development sites and new store development on more than 300 projects.


Columbus Park Abuzz With Blue Jackets

A new playground opened at Westgate Park on the west side of Columbus in Ohio. The hockey-themed playground was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.

The project, conducted in partnership with Columbus Recreation & Parks, Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA), and Playworld Midstates, features a play structure outfitted with themed enhancements such as hockey stick posts, puck-studded climbing walls and Blue Jackets images. The playground, featuring Playworld Systems’ equipment, is divided into two age-appropriate areas and complimented by swing sets for kids and toddlers.

The hockey club’s staff and a collection of community volunteers came together to build the custom playground. Since its inception in 2000, the Blue Jackets Foundation has invested over $6.2 million in central Ohio to help kids get healthy, play safely, and stay active.


Vortex Expands To Meet Global Demand

Vortex Aquatic Structures International, a manufacturer of aquatic play landscapes and entertainment solutions, has announced that it will expand its manufacturing plant. When completed in early 2015, the expansion will add nearly 20,000 square feet.

Additionally, Vortex will purchase advanced R&D technology to continue to deliver unique, progressive, user-friendly and technology-driven products. Plans include a 2400-square-foot testing pool so Vortex can test more products at any given time, which will enable the company to bring new products to market more quickly.

For more information, visit


Terex Invites Dealers To Get Their Hands Dirty

Terex Environmental Equipment hosted a two-day dealer training event and conference during September for their North American dealers. The theme of the event was “Get Your Hands Dirty’ and the first day was spent on site. Dealers not only had the ability to watch all the products being demonstrated but were also able to use the machines as well. The second day was spent at the Dealer Conference where Martin Dummigan, Business Line Director shared the company’s business results and strategy.  Information was also shared from the engineering, technical and customer support and marketing teams.


IPEMA Gives Website, Brand A New Voice

The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), a playground safety certification organization, announced a new website for the Voice of Play, along with a refreshed brand identity. The Voice of Play is IPEMA’s education and advocacy initiative to promote the value and benefits of free, outdoor play.

Designed to better engage with key audiences such as parents, educators and community leaders, the site redesign promotes interactivity, as well as popular resource materials about play. For more information, visit





5-Feb. 20 UMass Winter School for Turf Managers, Amherst, Mass.—University of Massachusetts;

4-5 WESTERN Nursery and Landscape Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show, Kansas City, Mo.—Crown Center Exhibit Hall;

6-8 Northern New England Recreation and Parks Conference, Bartlett, NH--Attitash Grand Summit Resort;

12-16 Mid-America Pool & Spa Show, Schaumburg, Ill.-- Schaumburg Convention Center;

13-16 Sports Turf Managers Association Conference and Exhibition, Denver, Colo.

14-16 Indiana Park & Recreation Association State Conference, Michigan City, Ind.—Blue Chip Casino;

22-24 Illinois Park and Recreation Association Soaring to New Heights Annual Conference, Chicago, Ill.—Hyatt Regency,

26-29 New England Regional Turfgrass Conference & Show, Providence, R.I.--Rhode Island Convention Center; (401) 848-0004,

27-30 Kansas Recreation and Park Association Conference and Trade Show, Topeka, Kan.— Kansas Expocentre;


1-4 Ohio Parks and Recreation Association Annual Conference, Sandusky, Ohio—Kalahari Convention Center; (614) 895-2222;

2-5 Southeast Pool & Spa Show, Charlotte, N.C.—Charlotte Convention Center;

14-20 Association of Aquatic Professionals Annual Conference & Exhibit, San Diego, Calif.—Town and Country Resort and Convention Center;

20-22 American Sports Builders Association Winter Meeting, Grand Bahama Island.— Grand Lucayan;

24-27 Missouri Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Expo, Springfield, Mo.;


1-4 New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association Conference & Exhibition, Atlantic City, N.J.—Trump Taj Mahal;

2-6 Texas Recreation & Park Society Annual Institute & Trade Show, Abilene, Texas;

24-25 Maine Recreation & Parks Association 2014 Annual Conference, Portland, Maine—Holiday Inn by the Bay; 

24-26 Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Lancaster, Penn.—Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square;