Tributary at New Manchester

Tributary at New Manchester, a 2,500-home, master-planned community in Douglasville, Georgia

Create eco-friendly playgrounds compatible with community’s EarthCraft-certified homes

Manufacture and install play structures made from EcoPlay® lumber (clean, post-consumer recycled HDPE plastic – like milk jugs)

Planned community adds “green” playgrounds into its sustainable best practices

Tributary at New Manchester, a master-planned community in Douglasville, Georgia, is truly a recreational mecca that abounds with trails, fitness centers, swimming pools, basketball courts, and tennis courts. Every home is within a seven-minute walk of a neighborhood park.

When Tributary’s developers evaluated playground equipment, they set high standards. Homes in the community are EarthCraft-certified to meet sustainable housing criteria, so developers wanted the playgrounds to be uncompromisingly “green,” too. By avoiding equipment made of wood or steel, Tributary could meet its sustainability standards, while achieving longer life cycles and lower maintenance costs.

Steve Osterbur, Tributary’s general manager, sought a playground manufacturer with an environmentally friendly track record. He soon discovered EcoPlay.

“EcoPlay’s structural components are commercial-grade plastic lumber, made of recycled materials that should last us for decades,” Osterbur said. “Their team satisfied all of our criteria, and they helped us design different playgrounds suitable for different age groups.”

EcoPlay designed, manufactured and installed two playgrounds for Tributary in 2005. Over the next 12 years, he noted, only a routine maintenance checkup was needed. “Five years ago, EcoPlay came out and tightened up a few things,” he recalled, “and that’s all we’ve done over the equipment’s life. Everything is still in excellent shape!”

What advice would Osterbur give to other property developers?

  • “Take age differences into account. Older and younger children should be in separate areas.”
  • “Set aside sufficient space for your playgrounds. Think of them as meeting places for parents, too. We needed bigger areas than we initially thought.”
  • “Spend a little more to make playgrounds more enjoyable for the whole family.”

And finally: “Talk to EcoPlay. We’re absolutely convinced we made the right decision.”

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