California doesn’t really want you to purchase wooden playground structures using public funds. The reason is rather simple – wooden playground structures have to be treated with a pesticide and/or preservative to ensure that it can withstand the elements. These chemicals can be hazardous to children when they come in contact with the structure. The next is wooden structures require a ton of maintenance and that means only one thing – a bigger burn rate on your funds.
The short answer here is yes, you can still purchase wooden playground structures. You just have to do so with private funding. Also, nothing in the code states that you cannot maintain a wooden playground structure with State funds – which appears to be a loophole in the law.
115775. (a) No state funds shall be used by any state agency, onsite employee child care center for state employees, city, county, city and county, district, superintendent of schools, school district, or community college district to purchase wooden playground or recreational equipment where there is a likelihood of contact by children and when the equipment has been treated with any of the following substances: