OREGON – The Oregon Park District announces that work has begun on transforming Fairgrounds Park.
The new playground will include an IONIX GT Playground Structure and three play pods. The play pods, located along the north section of the Park will include play equipment for children and fitness equipment for adults.
Installers were on site beginning Monday, April 10 to begin preparing the areas, with delivery of equipment estimated on Friday, April 14. Installation is expected to take two weeks. Oregon Park District staff will then finalize the space with dirt, mulch and plantings.
The Oregon Park District has donated the existing playground structure to Kids Around the World (KIDS). Volunteers from KIDS were onsite beginning Tuesday, April 11 to remove the playground.
The existing playground was installed in 1994. The Illinois Park & Recreation Association and Illinois Department of Natural Resources recommend the useful life of metal playgrounds at 15 years. Fairgrounds Park play equipment is 23 years old. Playgrounds that have exceeded their useful life can't safely be repurposed in the United States.
Rather than remove the existing playground and disposing of it, the District instead opted to donate the playground for the benefit of children in other countries who are living in difficult circumstances, and for whom the gift of a playground will mean so much.
"KIDS is a non-profit organization that will recycle the playground at no cost to the Oregon Park District,” said Erin Folk, Oregon Park District executive director. “Recycled playgrounds can only be used for international projects. KIDS harvests commercial grade playgrounds, removes and refurbishes and then reinstalls it around the globe. These refurbished playgrounds are ideal for impacting kids in countries affected by war, poverty, disease or natural disaster."
Founded in Rockford, Illinois in 1994, Kids Around the World has built playgrounds for children in more than 50 countries. KIDS also provides nutritious meals and teacher training throughout the world.
Watch for more details and photos as the transformation of Fairgrounds Park begins.