Coon Rapids donates playground equipment to a nonprofit organization

Playground equipment at a Coon Rapids park has been donated to a nonprofit organization.

The Coon Rapids City Council Aug. 6 approved a resolution giving the playground equipment at Peppermint Stick Park to Kids Around the World, an organization that renovates the equipment for use in underprivileged areas in other parts of the world.

As part of an upgrade to Peppermint Stick Park planned this year from general fund dollars in the parks budget, new playground equipment will be installed.

In fact, the installation of the new equipment is scheduled to start Aug. 18, according to Gregg Engle, city parks supervisor.

In addition, the city will put in new asphalt trails in the park, located at 11480 Raven St. NW, adjacent to Coon Rapids Middle School. That work is expected to take place in the fall, Cronin said.

The city has also acquired a residential lot adjacent to Peppermint Stick Park that will be incorporated into the park.

On the lot was a vacant, foreclosed, substandard home, which was demolished by the city after being used for fire department training last year.

The city plans to talk with school district personnel about turning it into an ecological, interpretive area for use by the schools and public, Cronin said.

Cleanup work on that lot will be taking place in conjunction with the park improvements, he said.

This is not the first time the city has donated playground equipment to Kids Around the World, according to Cronin.

It did so a few years ago when Moor Park was redeveloped and the playground replaced, Cronin said.

Kids Around the World officials come out to inspect the playground equipment before agreeing to take it, he said.

In fact, the city offered to donate the playground equipment at Riverview Park, on which redevelopment will start this fall, Cronin said.

“But it was in such bad shape that Kids Around the World did not want it,” he said.

Now the city is considering offering to Kids Around the World the existing playground equipment at Sand Creek Park when that park is renovated starting next year.

Kids Around the World, with offices in Rockford, Illinois, and San Clemente, California, and a warehouse in Rockford, was founded in 1994 through the combined efforts of Rockford businesses under the leadership of  Dennis Johnson.

According to the Kids Around the World website, its initial goal was to provide safe play equipment for children that found themselves in situations where it was difficult to just be a “kid.”

But besides recycling and building hundreds of playgrounds, Kids Around the World has packed more than 11.2 million meals and reached over six million children, the website states.

Kids Around the World is a Christian organization that in 2003 became affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ.