JOPLIN, Mo. — Students at two area head start locations have softer, safer play areas.

Ribbon cuttings were held at the Midtown Joplin Head Start and the Webb City Head Start on Thursday to show off their new playground fall zones.

A $30,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources made the installation possible.

The pour-in-place compound, made from recycled tires makes for a softer, safer, and bouncier surface for kids to land on.

Leisa Harnar, Economic Security, said, “So this is a very soft material, very soft, very springy, very resilient material but it allows them to run, it allows them to crawl, um it just um it allows them to climb on the equipment quicker, easier.”

She says the previous surface at both locations was made out of large amounts of rubber mulch material that turned kids cloths and shoes black every time kids would play on it.