Former Batavia Park District equipment reused in southern Africa

Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
The group Kids Around The World, which removes playgrounds in the U.S. and then ships them to third world countries, recently installed playground equipment in Botswana, Southern Africa, that was originally in Millview Park in Batavia.

BATAVIA – Thanks to the Batavia Park District, some children in Botswana in southern Africa now have their own playground.

The Rockford-based group Kids Around the World recently installed the playground equipment, which previously was used in Millview Park in Batavia. The group held a dedication ceremony for the playground Easter Sunday.

“We refurbished the playground and made it brand-new again,” said Jim Rosene, president at Kids Around the World. The faith-based nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping children and families who have been affected by war, poverty, illness and natural disasters.

The group has built 203 playgrounds in 27 countries since 1994.

“It brings a lot of happiness to me,” Rosene said.

Jim Eby, director of planning and development for the Batavia Park District, said he is happy the playground equipment is being put to good use.

“It’s so much better than anything they had to play on,” Eby said.

The Batavia Park District has a policy of replacing its playgound equipment about once every 15 years to keep up with safety guidelines and new play elements being introduced, he said.

Playground equipment that previously was used in Geneva Park District’s Deerpath Park also recently was relocated to a school in Botswana.

“We are excited to provide children who are without a playground or even a park in their community the opportunity to play,” said Geneva Park District Executive Director Sheavoun Lambillotte in a news release.

Information about Kids Around the World is available by going to its website, www.kidsaroundtheworld.com.