By Noah Festenstein
Journal & Topics
A former Rosemont playground was installed last week in Las Canos, Nicaragua.
In 2019, Rosemont Park District donated a portion of the old Margaret J. Lange Park playground to Kids Around The World, an organization in the Chicago-area that repurposes playgrounds for children in other parts of the world.
“We just recently reached 1,000 playgrounds donated,” Kids Around The World Playground Director Tim Clauson said. “The one from Rosemont just got installed last week. There was a ribbon cutting ceremony… We call it ‘pay-day’ when we see kids first enjoying a playground. It is really fulfilling seeing that, a lot of these kids don’t normally see a playground.”
The organization donates an average of 120 playgrounds a year. Once a park district works with Kids Around The World to donate a portion of a playground, the organization will hold it in their Rockford warehouse until its ready for shipping.
Affected by the pandemic, according to Clauson, it took about three years to transfer the Rosemont playground to Nicaragua. “We wanted to make sure the timing was right, and that the playground fits best for their needs,” he said.
Upon last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony, kids of Las Canos gathered to enjoy something they haven’t seen in their community: a playground from the Rosemont Park District.
“Instead of throwing it out, we wanted to donate one of our old playgrounds,” Director of Rosemont Park District Karen Stephens said. “We want it to be used by kids from around the world.”
Once Kids Around The World receives a playground from a park district, they will hold it, refurbish and inspect the set, then internationally ship it unassembled.
The playground donated from Rosemont consists of a triple race slide, small duo race slide, crawl-through tunnel, bridge and climbing obstacles.