Softening the blow in Castlegar

Think of it as a soft floor or a firm, high-traction carpet

Twin Rivers Elementary kids (L-R) Ben

Where the rubber meets the shoe, or the knee, hip or elbow, is where a child can be grateful it’s not cement or pavement.

Twin Rivers Elementary is now endowed with section of its playground featuring a rubber floor. It’s the result of cooperation between School District #20 and Tire Stewardship BC, which provided a grant and material for the work.

As soon as you step onto the surface the benefits are obvious. Each step is cushioned so it’s easy to imagine how much less wear and tear a user would receive to their joints, not to mention anywhere that makes contact in the event of a fall.

“This stuff here is about six inches thick,” pointed out Twin Rivers principal Doug Hickey on June 7 about the top level. “It sits on a concrete slab and then there’s a small underlay with the recycled rubber on top. It’s got four or five cones in each section that it sits on, so as you walk along you can feel the flexibility.”

Hickey informed that the concrete work was done last fall by school district employees. Others came in this spring to install the apparatus and floor, a process that which took two weeks.

“It’s just worked out incredibly well for us,” said Hickey, who has first-hand knowledge of the forgiving nature of the surface, having himself taken a spill off the slide and feeling none the worse for wear.

A student named Kendra agrees.

“It’s much softer than any other floor,” said the girl as she played with others on the bars…”it’s much safer.”

It so happens there could be good news available for other groups/institutions interested in such an asset, as the 2013 granting season with Tire Stewardship BC is underway. Related details are available online at

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