Make Purchasing Your New Playground Easy With Burke
Deciding to build a new play structure or add equipment to a current playground is easy. After the decision is made, the next question is, “Where will the money come from?” At BCI Burke, we understand the dedication and hard work it takes to raise the funds for playground equipment. That's why we have many great options to help you get your new park, recreation or school playground.
To help with the challenging task of searching for grants BCI Burke has created the Grant Resource Center to help schools, park & recreation boards and other organizations identify and apply for grants for the purchase of new playground equipment.
BCI Burke has partnered with The School Funding Center to provide up-to-date grant information along with expert grant writing services. The School Funding Center has one the most comprehensive and current grant database available on the internet today and maintains a network of experienced grant writers who can create grant applications for affordable fees.
If your organization needs a new Burke playground but doesn't have the capital on hand, BCI Burke's lease-to-own program can assist you in acquiring the financing you need. Your kids can enjoy their new Burke playground without having to wait for funding to become available.
Buying a playground can take a lot of time and effort for agencies that set their own specifications, issue RFPs and analyze bids. That’s why BCI Burke has partnered with two organizations that help governmental organizations simplify the process: Choice Facility Partners and HGACBuy. By joining, members can receive competitively priced, legally secure contracts for Burke playground equipment.
Using Choice Facility Partners or HGACBuy for your next playground equipment purchase could shorten your procurement cycle by months, while at the same time ensuring compliance with competitive bid requirements.
Learn more about all of these great ways to make playground purchasing easier at www.bciburke.com/funding!
Maximizing Natural Resources is the Burke Way
By Tim Ahern
Our work at BCI Burke of manufacturing playgrounds is serious business propelled by creating fun for kids. As we make great playgrounds to play on today, we never lose sight of the importance of preserving the precious resources that kids and families use today, as well as future generations will need.
That’s why we are proud to announce that in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership, BCI Burke has boosted the commitment to acquire energy from wind and other renewable sources to offset approximately 20% of electrical usage. That’s up from the previous 12%. Our wind energy purchase is made through Alliant Energy’s Second Nature™ Program and we are the only commercial playground manufacturer to participate in the EPA partnership.
We constantly strive for ways to better use resources and ensure a more sustainable world because we’re in the business of improving kid’s lives. And it just makes sense that one of the best ways we can do this is by ensuring an environmentally safe and economically robust future.
The result of Burke’s commitment has an annual environmental impact of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from 14.3 vehicles or 9 homes a year. It also prevents the equivalent emissions of 8,176 gallons of gasoline from being consumed, which is equivalent of planting 15.5 acres of pine or fir forests.
Our efforts are making a difference and we believe our example plays an important role in stimulating an even greater commitment for all of us here at Burke and in our community, to make our own contribution to a sustainable future.
Along with the EPA program, we focus on straightforward practices, and have invested in energy-efficient lighting that has reduced our total energy consumption by 16 percent. We are also committed to using recycled materials. Our playgrounds use an average recycled content of 65 percent in tube steel, 55 percent in sheet steel and 90 percent in steel castings.
Because we print approximately 56 tons of catalogs each year, it’s important to make sure they contain recycled material. As a result, we have implemented standards requiring that our catalogs be printed using processes and products that meet the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We also created an online Dynamic Digital Catalog to decrease the amount of paper being used.
In addition to using recycled materials, we also have processes in place to ensure that we recycle materials we use. On average, we recycled 19 tons of HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and 179 tons of metal.
We have achieved and worked hard to maintain our ISO 14001 Certification. To achieve this vital goal, BCI Burke has an environmental system in place with specific policy commitments, which include complying with all environmental laws and regulations. ISO 14001 is the cornerstone of the groundbreaking series of standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and it is the only framework that provides for third-party certification.
When it comes to the environment, we believe doing things the way we do at Burke is simply the right thing. As we continue to create playgrounds for our kids today and long into the future, our focus will stay right where it has been since Burke began in 1920—manufacturing high quality playground equipment, providing exemplary service and adhering to our commitment to safety. And, in the process, we will optimize efficiency, current technology and our green practices to allow us to be the best stewards of the environment as possible.
Nucleus Contest Winner Receives Award of Excellence
The benefits of a free playground awarded to the New Ulm Parks and Recreation Department last summer keep multiplying as the project has been named a recipient of the 2010 Award of Excellence by the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) recently.
The New Ulm Parks and Recreation Department had been trying over a five year period to replace old and outdated playgrounds with safer ones and the playground give-away that playground manufacturer BCI Burke held could not have come at a better time. The good news came on the heels of the New Ulm Parks and Recreation Department struggling through nearly $380,000 in cutbacks since 2008.
“What makes this project truly unique are the partnerships created to complete the project,” said Cheryl Kormann, assistant director for the New Ulm department. “The 3M Foundation, awarded a significant grant to help complete the project under the recommendation and guidance of plant manager, John Illikman, who helped organize the playground community build utilizing 3M workers and retirees,” she added.
Strongsville, Ohio wins BCI Burke Voltage Playground Contest
A new playground will be installed by October in conjunction with grand prize contest announcement by BCI Burke recently. The City of Strongsville, OH, was the lucky winner of the contest held by the playground manufacturer, with corporate headquarters in Fond du Lac, WI.
“I was amazed when I received the call that we won the playground. All of our parks have playgrounds, except this one, so the timing to receive this is perfect,” said Bryan Bogre, Strongsville Director of Parks, Recreation and Senior Services.
Thousands of entries registered for the contest announced at the start of 2011, with only one honored person getting the exciting winning call. The playground is from Burke’s new Voltage™ line, which combines the durability and flexibility of a 3 ½” O.D. post system with the advanced design of both the exclusive KoreKonnect® direct-bolt clamp system and EZKonnect® self-leveling deck system. Other monthly prize winners in the Voltage playground contest received VISA gift cards and Apple iPods and will continue to be selected each month through December 31, 2011.
St. Croix Recreation teams up with BCI Burke to get “best product” out to Minnesota
One of Minnesota's most experienced recreation experts has teamed up with BCI Burke Playgrounds. Johnnie Johnsen, president of St. Croix Recreation, is excited to be showcasing Burke playgrounds to parks and recreation departments, schools, and other customers throughout the state.
"I’m determined to get the best product out there to my customers. I Know that BCI Burke has that little something extra, and I’m pleased to represent Burke products,” said Johnsen.
Johnsen said he was attracted to BCI Burke’s innovative play equipment, including the newest Intensity line that combines traditional play with fitness oriented activities.
With this being St. Croix’s second time around with Burke, Johnsen has had the opportunity of experiencing other companies and appreciates the things that Burke brings to the table with outstanding 3D’s, solid construction that requires very little time to follow up on warranty issues, great sales and promotional materials and a friendly and helpful staff.
“Playgrounds really serve two separate functions, and I think Burke’s equipment speaks to both of those,” Johnsen said. “They should, first of all, be a place where kids can get out and quickly blow off steam, work off energy, and have fun doing it. But they should also be places where kids can learn to communicate, work together, and share. Intensity, especially, supports that goal.” These spaces should also be something special that attract the kids. Burke has been going nuts with new ideas and play events as can be attested by the Burke Alert updates. Johnsen says he’s always been of the idea to have something nobody else has as opposed to getting something everybody else has!"
And after having watched the recreation industry change throughout the years, Johnsen believes Burke’s products are on the cutting edge.
“They pay attention to the trends, and to what’s important for the well being of children. They're also sensitive to environmental concerns, ease of installation, and flexibility with their representatives. They’re team players, and that’s what I’m looking for,” Johnsen said.
BCI Burke and the US Play Coalition
BCI Burke is a proud sponsor of the The US Play Coalition which is a partnership to promote the value of play throughout life. It is made up of individuals and organizations that recognize play as a valuable and necessary part of a healthy and productive life.
For more information about The US Play Coalition please visit usplaycoalition.clemson.edu.