About PlayCore

PlayCore is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of a broad range of commercial and consumer playground and park equipment, surfacing, site amenity, fitness, and related play products.  The business operates under the GameTime, Play & Park Structures, and Ultra Play commercial brands, the surfacing brand of TotTurf, and the youth fitness brand of Everlast Climbing Industries.

The mission of the company is “to profitably grow our business by passionately providing dynamic play and recreation opportunities through innovative designs, empowered employees, and dedicated customer support.”

PlayCore believes that various forms of play, recreation, and physical activity are essential throughout life because they provide a healthy life balance and greatly enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities.

PlayCore’s corporate headquarters are located in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


About the Natural Learning Initiative

The purpose of the Natural Learning Initiative is to promote the importance of the natural environment in the daily experience of all children, through environmental design, action research, education, and dissemination of information. The long-term goal is to create environments for healthy human development and a healthy biosphere for generations to come.

The mission of the Natural Learning Initiative is to help communities create stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education—environments that recognize human dependence on the natural world. The Initiative collaborates with landscape architects, designers, planners, educators, play leaders, environmental educators, politicians, industry, and all professionals working for and with children.

Increasing numbers of children are losing contact with the natural world. Reasons include institutions with outdoor spaces that do not support children's developmental needs; the rapid growth of domestic air-conditioning since the 1950s; apprehensive parents who keep their children close to home; state-mandated curricula that do not allow time for study outdoors; and the overly-structured, harried lifestyle of many children today. Evidence-based design can make a difference in the life of children and families by creating healthy natural environments.

The Natural Learning Initiative works with a variety of clients in the nonformal and formal sector of education. They include:

  • Schools and school systems (public and independent)
  • Parks and recreation systems
  • Public and private childcare centers
  • Afterschool programs
  • Federal, state, county, and municipal governments
  • Residential developers committed to children's quality of life
  • Community institutions that run children's programs, such as special education programs, zoos, botanical gardens, children’s museums, and environmental centers.

The Natural Learning Initiative is a Research and Design Assistance Program of the College of Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA


Register for the guidebook

“We believe innovative programs like NatureGrounds are critical for challenging and inspiring the future innovation of play environments across our nation.”

- Bob Farnsworth, CEO of PlayCore

“We see the NatureGrounds program as an opportunity to inspire landscape architects, designers, and park and recreation professionals with new tools to create healthy, innovative, naturalized playgrounds for all.”

- Robin Moore, Director of the Natural Learning Initiative