Nearly 7,000 miles away, the Fox Valley Park District’s commitment to social equity is alive and well. Thanks to a partnership with Kids Around the World, the now-defunct Birmingham Playground has been recycled and refurbished to provide recreation to an underserved community.

In stewardship to our communities of Aurora, North Aurora, and Montgomery, the Fox Valley Park District maintains its playgrounds to continually meet safety and accessibility requirements, while maintaining the play value of its structures.

Kids Around the World, based out of Rockford, works with districts to remove, refurbish, restore and relocate playgrounds all over the world. Since its inception in 1994, the organization has worked in more than 70 countries, utilizing volunteer groups to maximize the project’s value to each community. The group prioritizes opportunities for kids to play in parts of the world affected by war, poverty, disease or natural disaster.

Sr. Director of Planning, Research and Grants Jeff Palmquist said the program is a win-win for all involved.

“It’s crucial in providing physical, social and cognitive benefits to children living in less-fortunate circumstances,” Palmquist said. “Additionally, it’s a green practice, keeping potential waste out of area landfills.”

Since 2012, Fox Valley Park District has provided 10 playgrounds to Kids Around the World, with playgrounds going to Guatemala, Peru and El Salvador.