Des Plaines Kiwanis Park equipment to be refitted for kids overseas
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The playground equipment at Kiwanis Park, a Des Plaines Park District neighborhood park at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Orchard Street, is on its way to a new home.
Volunteers with Kids Around the World, a not-for-profit faith-based organization, recently dismantled the swing sets, playground climbing area and slides, and removed the merry-go-round. Kids Around the World refurbishes used playground equipment and reinstalls it in more than 30 countries around the globe including Ghana, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Bosnia, Costa Rica, and Zambia.
Since 1994, the group has installed more than 300 playgrounds. This is the third time the Des Plaines Park District has partnered with the Rockford-based agency.
"KATW was just here in August, when we began the renovations at Jaycee Park. We also worked together on the Apache Park project. The playground from Apache has been refurbished and is now in the KATW catalog awaiting installation," said John Hecker, executive director of the park district.
Larry Seagren, a volunteer with Kids Around the World said, "We are very excited to get this playground. It's in good shape. We will take it back to Rockford where all the posts will be welded to extensions; the slides will be power washed; and the metal parts powder coated. It will make children in an economically depressed or disaster ravaged area of a country overseas very happy."
Kiwanis Park will have a new Continuous Play Playground, and a swing set with four swings: one bucket, two belt, and one American Disabilities Act swing, all set on a wood fiber surface that is clean, cushioned, and absorbs impact. Two tree house structures anchor the new play equipment that is all connected by horizontal ladder, pod climbers, and a catwalk climber.
It will also have a 48-inch double swirl slides extend from one tree house and 64-inch double swoosh slides from the second. Access to the tree houses is also possible by a toe and hand pegged vertical climbing wall and a rope assisted climbing panel. In a separate play area are two log steppers, a log balance beam, two mushroom climbers, and a kid's cabin with bongos.
"Adjacent to the play structure is a free standing Peak Natural Rock Climber, that has the look and feel of a real rock formation," said Paul Cathey, superintendent of parks and planning. "It is designed to encourage kids to test their strength, balance, and hand-eye coordination."
The earth-tone color scheme — brown, tan, and green — blends naturally into the neighborhood, and all of the structures are built to stand up to sun, wind, snow, and rain with minimal maintenance.
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