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updated: 11/7/2013 1:35 PM

Palatine Park District Recycles Playground Equipment

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  • Staff and volunteers from Kids Around the World remove equipment from Community Park in 2012.

      Staff and volunteers from Kids Around the World remove equipment from Community Park in 2012.
    Palatine Park District

 
Palatine Park District

Palatine Park District has been serving the Palatine community since 1945. The mission of the district is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks and recreation facilities and activities that will enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well-being for all residents and visitors of the Palatine Park District.

To that end, Palatine Park District has over fifty parks and facilities located within its boundaries. Included among these are 29 playgrounds which offer climbing structures, slides, swings, and lots of fun for children from tots through grade school students. Palatine Park District's current playground replacement schedule allows for two of these playgrounds to be renovated each year.

According to Cheryl Tynczuk, Palatine Park District's Landscape Architect, "Palatine Park District maintains its playgrounds and renovates them on a schedule so the equipment is replaced before it deteriorates from age, use, and the weather." So what happens to the removed equipment? For two of the most recent playground replacement projects, Ashwood Park in 2013 and Community Park in 2012, Palatine Park District partnered with Kids Around the World to recycle the equipment.

Kids Around the World is an organization that understands the power of play and the impact it can have on a community, and in a child's life. One of their ongoing projects is the recycling of playgrounds. Palatine Park District has partnered with Kids Around the World by donating equipment to the organization for re-use in other countries. To date, Kids Around the World has built over 200 playgrounds in 27 countries. Palatine Park District recently received the news that the equipment from Community Park was installed in Guatemala this August. When asked about the partnership, Tynczuk said "It is nice to know that the equipment can be recycled in a new location for children who would not otherwise have access to a playground."

The donation process begins when a team from Kids Around the World is brought on site to remove the playground equipment from the park scheduled for renovation. The equipment is then refurbished and sent to a new location for installation. A community build is often held at the new location with the help of the families that will use the refurbished equipment. Here in Palatine, the Park District then proceeds with the building of a new playground for our community. Palatine Park District's Executive Director Mike Clark is "excited that the Park District is a participant in this initiative. To know that a playground which would have ended up sold for scrap or in a landfill will be installed somewhere in the world and provide opportunity and happiness to kids less fortunate than those in our community is extremely gratifying."

The playgrounds scheduled for replacement in 2014 are located at Cottonwood Park, 3000 Fox Lane, and Mulberry Park, 613 N. Franklin Avenue. With the more recent replacement projects, additional equipment for younger children is being included in the playground design in the form of a tot structure along with a separate structure for older children. Community input is welcomed through the formation of focus groups comprised of community residents. Those interested in participating in groups to provide input for Cottonwood Park or Mulberry Park should contact Cheryl Tynczuk at 847-705-5133 or ctynczuk@palatineparks.org.

For more information about Palatine Park District and its parks and facilities, visit www.palatineparks.org or www.facebook.com/palatineparks.

The mission of Palatine Park District is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks and recreation facilities and activities that will enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well-being for all residents and visitors of the Palatine Park District.

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