MIDDLETON, WI--(Marketwire - October 5, 2010) -  Families now have a new park where they can enjoy Wisconsin's natural beauty while climbing, swinging and sliding. Today the City of Middleton announced the opening of the Middleton Ridge playground, the area's first environmentally-friendly playground.

"This new playground helps showcase Middleton's commitment to sustainable practices," said Mayor Kurt Sonnentag. "By selecting a green product that is sustainable in design we are helping reduce environmental impact while also looking out for our residents' future parks and recreation needs."

The park is located near the state's threatened Blanding's turtles, who call Graber Pond home. The turtles use upland conservancy areas for nesting near Middleton Ridge. "This is a vital environment for the turtles and it is critical we educate people on their importance to the ecosystem," said Public Land Manager Penni Klein. An educational sign on the turtles is scheduled for installation at the park.

The Middleton Ridge playground features apparatus manufactured by Playworld Systems, a leading producer of imaginative playground equipment. The company has eliminated 99.99 percent of PVCs thanks to Eco-Armor®, Playworld's alternative to PVC coatings. Additionally, Playworld Systems' products are tested for compliance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and EN standards and can be configured to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"The materials and manufacturing practices Playworld Systems uses to create our products reflect our deep commitment to minimizing our carbon footprint and protecting the planet for generations of happy, playful kids," said Ian Proud, research manager for Playworld Systems. "We are pleased to be part of the Middleton Ridge playground project team, a group whose values are closely aligned with our own."

Cari Fuss, vice president of Urban Solutions, developer of the Middleton Ridge subdivision, said the neighborhood residents are conscious of their carbon footprint and wanted a play space that reflected their commitment to the environment.

"The Middleton Ridge neighborhood was designed with a sustainable view in mind," said Fuss. "Establishing a park that echoed the residents' dedication to green living was a top priority for us."

Both the Parks Recreation Forestry Committee and City Council support and approve the project.

The new playground features climbing walls, a zigzag slide, rock blocks, and a swingset, among other pieces of equipment. Ground-accessible components help make the Middleton Ridge playground accessible for children with disabilities. The community park, located on Belle Fountaine Boulevard, is open to all.

About Playworld Systems, Inc.
Playworld Systems, a third-generation family-owned company headquartered in Lewisburg, Pa., has been a leader in imaginatively designed and customized commercial recreation and playground equipment for more than 30 years. With the belief that The World Needs Play®, Playworld Systems creates equipment that brings the joy of play to people of every age through such innovative product lines as ENERGI®, LifeTrail® Advanced, Playworld™ PlayDesigns®, and NatureForms™. Playworld Systems has invested significant resources to measurably reduce its carbon footprint, from eliminating PVCs to enhancing its waste management and recycling programs. In fact, Playworld Systems is the first major U.S. playground manufacturer to remove 99.999 percent of PVC from its products.

The company has received numerous awards throughout the years, including two International Industrial Design Excellence Awards, a gold medal from International Design magazine, two News Directors' Choice Awards on Early Childhood, and the Pennsylvania Governors' Award for Safety Excellence. Along with these awards, Playworld Systems was a consultant to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board). For more information, visit www.PlayworldSystems.com.