Have you ever wondered why we lean a certain way or tend to have problems on a certain side of our body? Many of these abnormalities are because we lack certain symmetry on the inside of our bodies. Most of us took anatomy, but how many of us realized the different sizes and different places our main organs are located? This is not a problem, but postural issues and muscles imbalances can happen if we don’t resolve this asymmetry. This blog will give you a PEAK into understanding your body better (inside and out) and some solutions to keeping it running like a well-oiled machine (clank-clank).
Great news! No, there is no magic bean or wonder drink that can fix all our problems, but with focused strength training and a better understanding of your body and its functions you and your body can be on the same page.
Let’s talk about our strength training program first. We tend to concentrate on strengthening our “mirror muscles”. Some examples are chest, quads, abs, shoulders, biceps and triceps. You’re probably aware of where these ...
Universal Design helps produce buildings, environments and products that are inherently accessible to everyone. Within a play environment, this takes on added importance as we consider the wide variety of ages and abilities that use park and play areas. While there are so many factors to consider when designing a play environment, our Top 5 are listed below.
1. Minimum Requirements
Universal Design creates the greatest access, but minimum requirements need to be met too! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the guideline for playgrounds and needs to be followed at a minimum.
2. Focus on ALL users
Children aren’t the only users of park and playground areas – most of them need caregivers to bring them to the park and, studies show, the more comfortable and accessible a space is for caregivers, the more time kids will spend at the park. Products like Novo™ Playful Furniture provide caregivers a comfortable, accessible space to rest and socialize while providing children a fun place to climb, balance or observe until they are ready to play. Caregivers can be inside the playspace with the children ...
What does it really mean to connect? We’re all so “connected” with mobile devices, television and chats of all kinds that maybe the word has been diluted a bit? Burke is redefining what it means to connect on the playground with the Konnection™ Swing, part of the Burke product line dedicated to enhancing play experiences and creating memorable connections for all users. With welcoming, flowing design lines, it brings a comforting form and experience to the playground.
The Growing Need for Connection
Today’s high paced world needs a space to promote true face-to-face connection, development and offer everyone an opportunity to engage. In the age of media overuse, the Konnection Swing is a timely introduction dedicated to reimagining our connections. Study after study, including a recently published study from Deloitte, conducted by Ipsos MORI, found that to be the case. According to the survey, which polled 2,000 US internet users ages 18 to 75, most people check their device approximately 47 times per day with younger users even higher at roughly 86 times a day.
A Continued Focus on User Experience
Creating a positive user ...
Why do you eat? If your answer is, “Because I’m hungry.” Or, “Because my stomach growls.” Or, if you are eating on the fly, grabbing whatever is close and “easy”, you may need to refocus your efforts. Just like you put specific gasoline in the tank of your car in a specific amount you should put specific foods in your body in specific amounts if you want your “engine” to run well and help you reach your health and fitness goals.
If you typically work out on an empty stomach, STOP! Doing this is like heading for vacation without filling your car. You’re not going to get anywhere, so you might as well stay in bed! When you exercise without fuel you will likely experience greater fatigue during the workout resulting in shorter and/or less intense activity. In turn, fewer total calories and less total fat are burned during the workout. Additionally, low blood sugar can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and may contribute to poor recovery. When you feel good, both mentally and physically, you get the most out of ...
Play is an important part of community and provides a space to gather, grow, learn and share. Organizations are working to help communities bring play to their residents and we can all help spread the word about these opportunities!
NRPA and Disney teamed up to provide grants to fund innovative and creative projects that transform parks and improve access to inclusive play spaces for kids (aged 3-11) and their families. Each grant is $30,000 and 25 total grants will be awarded. Please note, a 1:1 match is required. Eligible matching funds can include cash, staff time, construction costs and design fees.
Be a resource for our collective customers by helping them find opportunities like this! Please see the guidelines below and visit the website for additional information.
The applicant must be a state or local government park and recreation agency, (e.g., municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, etc.)
The project must take place at a publicly-owned site(s) in an underserved community*.
Considerable progress towards the project outcomes must be demonstrated ...
Guest Bloggers: Jenn Pontello and DJ Thompson, Trainers, Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition
PLAY THAT MOVES YOU! That would be their motto, BCI Burke would be their name. If you haven’t heard of them…you will! Last April we got our chance when the Town of Apex, through the recommendation of Barrs Recreation, brought the first obstacle course (ELEVATE) of its kind in the Nation to Apex Community Park.
They could’ve kept it simple: “build it and let them play”, but not Burke. That's where Peak Performance Fitness & Nutrition (Peak) came in. They asked us, to run a group of kids ranging from 13-18 through the ELEVATE course to collect data. It meant more to Burke then just seeing kids have fun, they also wanted to measure their capability to improve their performance while having fun.
We designed an 8-week program consisting of a 3-level curriculum. Using our background in functional training, we monitored the kid’s growth. Functional training, simply put, is training the body for everyday movements within the home, work, general activity and sports. We challenged the ...
From devastation comes rebuilding. From sadness comes laughter. From a monumental flood comes a renewed greenspace.
We had the privilege of touring the site that became Lemann Playground on Lafitte Greenway during the planning phase. All around this greenspace, the community was rebuilding. Play and parks are a powerful way to connect neighbors and families and give communities a sense of pride. Parks like Lemann Playground become a hub of activity, providing an environment ripe for businesses to open and service this growing population. Here people will gather, spend time outside, develop physically, emotionally, socially. They will laugh, share and play. BCI Burke is proud to partner with the NRPA, Parks Building Community and NORD to bring Play That Moves You to New Orleans and provide a space this community will benefit from for years to come.
WATCH NRPA'S VIDEO OF THE 2017 PROJECT, LAFITTE GREENWAY IN NEW ORLEANS!
All children deserve access to a space where they can learn new skills and further develop pre-existing ones. Few designers, however, consider children of all abilities while they are designing a playground. This leads to some children being alienated from others and their chance to learn essential skills while playing. Since no one wants to see a child left out, this article aims to educate designers and parents alike on not only the importance of inclusive spaces but also the simple considerations that need to be made to make one possible.
The first aspect of designing an inclusive space is understanding that there is a difference in the words inclusive and accessible. Even though the two terms are often used synonymously, accessible refers to the ability to easily approach, reach, enter, speak with or use. In terms of an accessible playground, this would be one that includes ramps for children to enter and certain objects (not all) within reach of the individuals. In essence, it is including more children, but it is not yet inclusive.
An inclusive space covers everything ...
More growth. More fun. More laughter. More time. More socialization. More development. More play. Play is one thing you can’t have too much of and Burke wants to help communities get more play in their budget! We are offering up to 35% off of select playground structures and an additional free item designed to pair with the chosen structure. Check out our sale here and see how play can move you!
What does it mean to us at Burke? It means working at Burke is more than just a job…it means we are passionate about creating the best playground products in the industry! It also means provide an environment that nurtures creative people, innovative thinking and forward-looking and that our pay and benefits packages are competitive.
Burke is a company on the move and we are hiring for a variety of professional and manufacturing positions. We are willing to train people that display traits we think will be a great match for all of us. Visit us at bciburke.com for more information and to apply.
Landscape Architect/Playground Designer, Mechanical Design Engineer, Software Analyst/Programmer and Territory Sales Manager – Northern CA
Welder, General Factory – Powder Coating, and Machine Operator – Metal Fabrication
Civil Engineering Intern and Mechanical Engineering Intern
We are so excited to announce Gustavo Vergara, Culture and Leisure Services Director, from the City of Cape Canaveral as the winner of the Great Play Giveaway presented by Parks & Recreation Business and Camp Business Magazine! As the winner, the City will receive a brand-new Nucleus®/Intensity® playground valued at almost $30,000!
As part of the third annual contest, all recreation departments and camps could enter to win a playground for their community that will help children develop skills that transcend the playground, including motor skills, cognitive planning and cooperation. Cape Canaveral will install this brand new playground customized with bright colors to fit the surroundings and enhance their city branding.
“Playgrounds and parks play an important role in providing a space for families to be active, to socialize and get much-needed time outdoors,” said Michael Phelan, president and CEO of BCI Burke. “We are so happy to be able to partner with Northstar Publishing, Inc. and provide a deserving community with a playground that will provide years of active enjoyment and development,” Phelan added.
Cape Canaveral is planning to install the ...
BCI Burke Company has been awarded a national cooperative contract by Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX, made available through National IPA, to provide playground and recreation products to government agencies and educational institutions throughout the country.
After competitively soliciting the contract, Region 4 ESC awarded the contract to BCI Burke on April 28, 2017. Through the agreement, BCI Burke’s products will be made available to all participants of National IPA.
“National IPA is pleased to be partnering with BCI Burke to offer this competitively solicited and awarded agreement lead by Region 4 ESC. BCI Burke provides a breadth of playground and recreation options, built with the exceptional quality that will benefit National IPA’s participating agencies throughout the country,” said Ken Heckman, senior vice president, account management.
National IPA is one of the fastest-growing cooperative purchasing organizations in the nation, and each contract is written to ensure maximum value and public procurement compliance for all parties involved. Additionally, a significant portion of National IPA’s revenue is allocated to education initiatives.
“Our contract with National IPA simplifies the process for customers to purchase ...
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month – a perfect time to set goals and get more active! The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition challenges adults to 30 minutes of physical activity each day during May.
Adding 30 minutes to an already busy schedule might seem daunting, but there are ways to incorporate activity into your day that won’t require complete rearrangement.
Walking. Mayo Clinic says taking a regular brisk walk can help maintain weight and prevent things like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Walk while your child is at baseball practice and, if you are feeling extra energetic, add in some squats and walking lunges for a dose of strength training.
PLAY. Playing is not only fun and social for kids and families but it is a great way to exercise! Head to the playground (walk or bike if you can!) and play with your child(ren) on the monkey bars, swings and climbers - you will have time with your kids and get exercise together!
Active workplaces. We’ve all heard that sitting at a desk all day is ...
Bring play to your community with Burke’s Spring Sale! We are so excited to make bringing play to your community even more affordable! We have more than 27 Burke playground structures that are up to 40% off list price! That means you can get more play value, development and community at a significant savings during this sale! Check out all of our sale structures and see how play can move you!
We love play and the chance to give a community a beautiful new playground is exciting for the team at Burke! Valued at almost $28,000, the Great Play Giveaway playground offers opportunities for kids to climb, slide, socialize and learn. The contest is open to Parks & Recreation Departments and Camps in the 48 contiguous United States and the winner will receive the latest in Burke products for their community! The deadline to enter is May 6, 2017! Click here for more information or to enter!
An interesting article about pressure on kids to perform well in school, excel in competitive sports, and handle other pressures could be alleviated with some simple one-on-one time with nature. See how outdoor play can help everyone live better.
ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo is almost here! This year’s event is in New Orleans, LA and we can’t wait to bring Play That Moves you to the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students in the world!
Within the 2016 ASLA Expo at Booth 1551, Burke will introduce the geometric celebration of play aptly named Novo™ Playful Furniture featuring a whole new way to interact with site amenities within a play environment. Burke created a category of multi-purpose site amenities that can be used in new ways from rest to play to interaction. Novo Playful Furniture combines form and function to create fun and creative site amenities that can also be used as play events. Users can balance on the Novo Bench or relax on the Novo Picnic Table and promote interaction.
Also featured is the latest in the Ara Shade Collection, a set of beautiful and functional shades for play environments that provide necessary UV protection while giving height and dimension to playspaces. Add any of the six Ara Shades and meet the aesthetic and practical needs ...
Bringing Play That Moves You to communities around the world is at the heart of Burke’s mission. Participating in Parks Build Community, a national initiative aimed at demonstrating the transformative value of parks on the health and vitality of communities across America, with NRPA and other national donors is an exemplification of our mission. The latest project, Trojan Park in Wellston, MO, is a new park with a variety of family-friendly amenities, including a state-of-the-art playground, basketball court, splash pad and picnic areas complete with shade structures.
To see how communities and organizations can come together and make a positive difference in the world, watch this video. This is Play That Moves Us.
We are so excited to make bringing play to your community even more affordable! We have more than 25 Burke playground structures that are up to 40% off list price! That means you can get more play value, development and community at a significant savings during this sale! Check out all of our sale structures and see how play can move you!
Bringing play to communities is what moves us at Burke to come to work every day and drives our passion to develop the best products and design the most inspired playgrounds! Last year, we decided to partner with Parks & Recreation Business and Camp Business Magazine to giveaway a playground to a community! So much FUN! The Town of Shallotte, NC won a playground that fit perfectly into their plan to add to the playground already planned for Mulberry Park!
For 2016, we decided to give away a bigger playground and update the name to the GreatER Play Giveaway! We are excited to announce the City of Powell as the WINNER of a brand-new Nucleus®/Intensity® playground valued at more than $28,000!
“This is an exciting time for us in Powell,” said Bowers, Assistant Director of Parks. “Our community is vibrant and we pride ourselves on providing outdoor spaces for the whole family. Winning this playground from Burke allows us to complete an outdoor playspace much sooner than we otherwise would have, giving our residents one more place to stay active and ...
Discover your super powers and change lives! That’s the theme of this year’s Park and Recreation Month and it provides a reason (like we need one!) to get outside and promote health, fitness and enjoy the outdoors with friends, kids, neighbors, colleagues or even by yourself! Need inspiration? Here are five things to do at a park near you! All parks are different so find one that has the amenities you need and check it out!
1. Play. If you have a child or children at the park with you, it’s fun to play on the swings, climb up the rock wall and slide down the slide! And it helps build strength, agility and balance!
2. Trails. Many parks have trails that loop around the area of the park and even connect to other parks or take you along a lake or river or even into the woods! Look for fitness equipment located along trails that will help take your workout to the next level by adding some strength or agility training.
3. Picnic. Grab a basket and blanket for a meal on the park ...
The second annual Great Play Giveaway is back…and it’s GreatER than EVER! Bring play to your community by entering to win a Burke playground valued at $28,000!
Every park or camp that completes the short survey will be automatically entered for a chance to win! Want a better chance? Get an additional 5 contest entries for submitting a video that explains what the playground would mean to your camp and/or community. All you have to do is upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or some other video hosting service and provide a link to it in your contest entry. Click here to register.
The days are getting longer and the chill is coming out of the air…that can only mean one thing…SPRING is around the corner!!!! Bring play to your community and get kids and families moving with up to 40% an incredible, active, imaginative playground!
At Burke, we have the best people bringing play to communities across the United States and abroad! The Representative Awards recognize excellence in sales, customer support and service as well as an overall exemplification of Burke’s mission to create play that moves everyone. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2015 Representative Awards. This year’s winners are Snider Recreation as the Representative of the Year and Play It Safe Playgrounds as the Burke Choice Award.Michael Phelan, president and CEO of BCI Burke Company, presented the awards to both Snider Recreation and Play It Safe Playgrounds at the National Sales Conference in Galveston, TX.
“After working together with us for more than 15 years, the team at Snider Recreation continues to be an incredible partner and share our mission and values,” Phelan said. “We are honored to present them with the Representative of the Year award and look forward to our future together in 2016 and beyond.” Snider Recreation represents Burke in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and western Pennsylvania.
The Burke Choice Award is given to the Representative ...
It’s cooling off here in the Midwest and all over the country! Although “cold” is a subjective term, we can all agree that winter in the U.S. brings cooler temps to most places throughout the country! However, just because it is colder or cloudier, doesn’t mean outdoor play is any less important! It requires more planning and a few different clothing options, but it can be done safely and the rewards are endless! Here are just a few of the benefits:
Fresh air is just that – fresh! Most indoor environments are closed and that means germs, bacteria and dirt recycle through the vents and the more time spent inside, the more time you are exposed! Being outside and breathing fresh air helps to strengthen your autoimmune system and helps to build a resistance to allergies.
Increased Attention Span
Time spent playing outdoors is a natural attention builder. Often children who have difficulty with sitting still for long periods of times are significantly more successful after time spent outside.
Engage in Physical Exercise
Yes, it might be colder outside but children still have ...
Physical activity is important for all ages and with campaigns like NFL PLAY 60 and Let’s Move, we are reminded daily of the importance of movement. But how do we get our children to move with us? With schedules, school, homework and screen time, it seems difficult to motivate them sometimes. Here are a couple of tips to help!
1. Be the example.
If you have an active and healthy lifestyle, your kids will naturally follow. Prioritize exercise and limit screen time in your own life and they will be more inclined to do the same.
2. Fun, fun, fun. Make exercise fun.
Ride your bikes to the playground and climb, slide and cross the monkey bars! Run around the playground and play tag! The main idea is to keep moving and make it playful so kids don’t know they are exercising!
3. Be positive.
Find activities that build self-esteem and always encourage participation.
4. Set hours for screen time.
Kids will want to have screen time and balance is the key. Homework, outside play or exercise time and any other commitments come first and screen time ...
Introducing the Merge Climber and Intensity Slide Platform! Pair them together with one of the many Burke slides and you have fun and active events for kids!
Climbable on three sides, the Merge possesses unique design lines that show a surprising use of shapes to create climbing paths up, over, around and through. Merge is designed to bring climbers together at the top and provide entry to an enclosed 72” high Nucleus™ or Intensity® slide platform. The flexibility and features of Merge allow for a variety of configurations that bring the excitement of climbing to the playground.
Options, options, options characterize the NEW Intensity Slide Platform! With the ability to connect to twelve different slides from 48-72”and be accessed by two different climbers, the Intensity Slide Platform is certain to be a playground favorite. Available as a freestanding slide option or as part of a structure, Intensity slide is designed to help keep kids moving while they hone important skills such as balance, coordination and motor planning.
Learn more at: bciburke.com/mergeclimber.html!
What’s the best way to celebrate 95 years of designing the industry’s most innovative playgrounds and recreation products? Of course, a HUGE playground sale with up to 40% off the most popular Burke playgrounds! Check out the website to find the best playground for sale for you: www.bciburke.com/95years.html.
July 2015 marks 30 years of Park and Recreation Month and the importance of parks increases with each passing year.Parks create a backdrop to childhood but don’t lose their importance as we age. There are so many benefits to parks that we can’t list them all…but here is a snapshot!
Parks serve a variety of purposes from visual appeal to recreational opportunities to a place to meet. Whatever you might use a park for, they help us define the feel of a neighborhood and allow better connections between community residents and guests alike.
Create safer neighborhoods:
When neighborhoods are adjacent to parks they tend to experience fewer violent and property crimes and neighbors tend to support and protect one another.
Learning is an individual process and much learning can be accomplished through the act of play. Playgrounds offer areas for social interactions, decision making, coordination, balance and problem solving are some of the important skills learned, in part, through play. Parks promote play between children of all abilities and from different backgrounds.
With the obesity rate continuing to rise in America, physical ...
Climbing – we all know it’s fun and exciting, but besides fun, climbing offers a plethora of other excellent developmental benefits, including balance, coordination and cooperative play. The latest series of climbers from Burke Playgrounds is versatile, customizable and helps create a sense of adventure for any playspace!
The NEW Verto climbers offer versatility for playground design and creative climbing options for kids! These unique climbers have one, two or three climbing sections and can be combined in various configurations for unlimited adventures! Use the Verto climbers to link play events,provide access to platforms or create a freestanding maze of climbers that encourages cognitive planning and requires strength and agility tomaneuver from one spot to the next.
Add the Verto climbers to your next playground and watch kids have fun while getting much needed exercise! Click here for more information.
The Town of Shallotte’s 10-acre Mulberry Park will be a more active play space thanks to Rachel Johnson, the Parks & Recreation and Business Promotional Coordinator for the Town of Shallotte! Rachel is the Grand Prize winner of the Great Play Giveaway, presented by Parks & Recreation Business and Camp Business Magazine. The Burke Intensity®playground she won includes all new play events from our fitness product line, which is designed to challenge and exercise children’s bodies while they play. A selection of climbers, spinners and overhead events make up this active and fun playground for families to enjoy while spending time together outdoors!
“Playgrounds and parks can play an important role in providing a space for families to gather and get much-needed time outdoors,” said Michael Phelan, president and CEO of BCI Burke Company. “We are so happy to be able to partner with Northstar Publishing, Inc. and provide a deserving community with a playground that will provide hours of enjoyment,” Michael added.
Rachel is excited to be able to help the Town of Shallotte get the park they hoped for!
At Burke, we work with communities everywhere to build playgrounds and always love the excitement, cooperation and fun that comes from creating and installing a new playground for all to share. Community builds provide the forum for community members, regardless of differences, to work side-by-side for the better of their community. During the build process, a community is able to capitalize on the resources found within and translates that into financial savings and pride in ownership. A community built playground helps to install a sense of “family” among community members and volunteers and a respect for what each has accomplished.
In the last couple of months, we’ve been involved in some incredible community builds! One in particular comes to mind – a boy, a town devastated by tragedy and a dream to restore a park becomes a reality. Get inspired – take a minute to watch this video and read more about the story behind the build!! For more information on community builds and to get your FREE planning guide, visit our website!
Cities around the country are recognizing the importance of parks and recreation spaces and the sense of pride and community they can bring to neighborhoods. Chicago is taking a lead on this with the Chicago Plays! initiative. Launched in Spring of 2013, Chicago Plays! has a goal to build and improve parks throughout the city so that every Chicagoan is within a ten minute walk of a park.
BCI Burke is excited to be part of the fun and has thus far installed numerous colorful and exciting playgrounds. Check out the most recent installation photos below!
De Bow Playlot Park
Grape Playlot Park
Nelson Playlot Park
Sherman Park (Garfield)
Sherman Park (Racine)
Washington (Dinah) Park
One of the most difficult parts of playground planning is finding the funding to even start the planning process! Budgets are tight and often it is difficult to even know where to begin finding the dollars for a project. Playground grants are an excellent way to kickstart the fundraising process!
Burke has a variety of options for grants finding. From now through June 19, 2015, Burke is offering $1 million of in-kind grants on playgrounds! The application process is simple, just click the link below and fill out your information. You local playground Representative will contact you and help you through the process!
APPLY FOR A BURKE BETTER BUILT GRANT HERE!
In getting ready to attend the PTO Today Conference in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, I started thinking about PTOs and general involvement in schools and why it is important. As a child, I remember my mom being the PTO President and organizing events such as end of year picnics, fundraisers for a new playground, holiday parties and book fairs. It was a source of pride for me to have my mom in a position of planning and organizing events at my school. My brothers and I always helped her with some of the tasks and felt a sense of ownership in our school. There are many reasons to be involved in your child or grandchild’s school – here are a few that came to mind:
Set a Good Example – being involved has benefits that last a lifetime and children learn best by example. Being involved will help you meet a network of other caring adults and an organized group can make a huge difference!
Sense of Ownership and Community – knowing what is going on in the school community, having ...
The 45th Earth Day is upon us and continues to help draw attention to environmental issues, but it is important to remember, there are 364 other days to care about the planet. At Burke, we think about the earth every day. As we create playspaces today, we don’t lose sight of the importance of preserving tomorrow. We are preserving it for the very population we are creating playgrounds for…the children. And their children. And theirs…and so on.
What does it mean to be sustainable? It seems that it has become sort of a buzz word that everyone is using and sometimes misusing. For us at Burke, sustainability isn’t just a word, it’s a way of life. We have environmental controls built into our manufacturing process and were early-adapters of wind-generated energy – now, 100% of the energy used at Burke is from wind and other renewable energy sources. We are proud to have be the only playground manufacturer that has the Green Power Partner designation from the U.S. EPA.
There are so many ways we can all support our earth today, ...