School Board candidate Alanna Oswald sent me this take on the issue regarding the rubber “mulch” we have in our school playgrounds.
i don’t know if you’re aware that the Lester Park PTA has offered to help ****, the parent in question, in regards to the mulch. I pointed them to your blog to see Superintendent Gronseth’s response, and they told me he’s quoting EPA studies from 2009… 6 years ago.
It would be helpful to know where the district got the rubber mulch, like the manufacturer or “brand name” of our particular loose fill.
What I CAN tell you is, the two MacArthur playground monitors have hated the mulch since the first day, and have continually experienced significant sinus/allergy issues while working that were never an issue before moving across the street. Also, those same monitors only allow the children to play ON the mulch surface for the ENTIRE recess time for each grade level. The children are not allowed to play in the grass field next to the playground, as two playground monitors cannot supervise that amount of space (the Memorial old softball field) with 80-100 kids at a time. So the kids are essentially forced to be exposed to the mulch, unless they are playing basketball. I know Lester Park lets the kids play all over the grass field, as does Homecroft and Stowe. So it is unfair to compare school to school as the exposure rates are different for each student based on which shook they attend.