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Posted on: June 12, 2023

McKinney playground structures find new homes overseas

Children playing on playground structure in Zambia

The city is partnering with Project Playground to send retired play structures to Zambia, Botswana, and Romania

McKINNEY, Texas (June 12, 2023) – The City of McKinney has partnered with Project Playground to relocate several playground structures to new homes overseas. The playground structure removed from Fitzhugh Park was installed earlier this year at an elementary school in Zambia that will be enjoyed by its 1,400 schoolchildren, along with five bay swings from McKissick and Fitzhugh parks. 

“Following the addition of a playground on our property, we have noticed that school children come earlier than usual to school just to have more time to play. It has improved attendance and punctuality in schools where we hardly have any absenteeism,” said Mr. Matimba, who works at the Nakowa Primary & Secondary School where the Fitzhugh playground structure now stands.

McKinney has donated structures to Project Playground from six more parks, including Hill Top, A. Hardy Eubanks, Jr., Dr. Charles McKissick, Finch, W.B. Finney, and Serenity parks, which will be refurbished and sent overseas. The play structure from Eubanks Park is heading to Romania, and the play structure and swings from Finch Park are heading to Botswana.

“Part of our mission as the Parks and Recreation Department is to connect people to spaces that allow them to build strong relationships, improve overall wellbeing, and foster inclusiveness. This is a tangible way we can use our resources to do that not just in McKinney, but in another part of the world,” said Michael Kowski, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We want to be the model for others to follow, and this is a great way we can be good stewards of our resources and continue to enhance the quality of life in McKinney and even around the globe.”

Project Playground is a Houston-based organization that deconstructs playgrounds from Texas and rebuilds them in countries throughout the developing world.

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