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Rockford Park District renovates two playgrounds

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 5:18 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Playgrounds are able to reopen in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, but two local jungle gyms will get a makeover first.

“It’s important to make sure that younger generations have a safe place to play,” Janie Jenkin said.

The Rockford Park District partners with Kids Around the World, an organization that travels the globe to renovate and build playgrounds to improve playgrounds at the former Walker and White Swan schools.

“We’re refurbishing the playground and putting new hardware on new parts that have been broken and new parts just to bring it up to code and about 200 cubic yards of playground mulch to make the surfacing safe again,” Project Manager with Kids Around the World Tim Clauson said.

The park district acquired the two jungle gyms from the Rockford Public Schools. Over time the structures deteriorate needing upgrades. The park district says it planned to start the renovation in the spring but the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way.

“We had all of our playground equipment and materials ordered and delivered last year,” Landscape Architect with the Rockford Park District Tom Lind said. “We were kind of gearing up to do this project in the spring and then COVID hit and everything went on hold a little bit.”

Despite the challenges, project managers, and volunteers on-site at the Walker neighborhood playground say this renovation is worth it.

“Doing work for your community is fun because then you can meet people that are in your community and you can talk to them and grow a bond with them,” Playground user Olivia Finkenhofer said.

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