By Zachary Cormier
In October 2013, the Town of Blackfalds received word from the Emmanuel Foundation that a playground they had donated had been successfully put up in the community of Hyderabad, India.
Two weeks ago, the town posted a video of the playground being built in the community on their Facebook page.
The playground, which used to stand in front of the Community Hall, was taken down after it no longer complied with the Canadian safety standards.
“I saw a post on one of our Alberta recreation web sites from the Emmanuel Foundation asking for used playground equipment,” said Jeff Heindel, the Parks and Facilities Manager at the Town of Blackfalds.
According to Heindel, the playground was still perfectly safe to use, just not in Canada. So the wheels started turning to find it a new home.
“I called Lyle Johnson from the Emmanuel Foundation and the ball started there.”
According to Heindel, the equipment had been sitting disused in a warehouse and he wanted to find a way for it not to go to waste.
“It’s just good that we were in a position to see this equipment be re-purposed. And we hear a lot about children in third-world countries and from what I understand and know about the Emmanuel Foundation and how they help out these little communities and villages it was just great to see it going to that kind of use.”
Heindel said this is the first time that the Town has made a donation like this one.
“We just donate the equipment. Just because of Canadian standards we can’t reuse the old equipment,” he said.
After the town had decided to make the donation, the rest was in the hands of the Emmanuel Foundation, who donate playgrounds to communities in need.
The playground was erected in October 2013 by a group from the Calvary Community Church in Edmonton.
Heindel said the playground donation would be something that the town would consider doing again given the opportunity.
“As playgrounds slowly, over time don’t meet the safety standards and if there’s equipment that we can re-purpose through this foundation I certainly don’t think we would hesitate to be a part of it again,” he said.
In fact, he said, the playground that used to stand in front of the Civic Centre is also going to be heading off to another country.
“That was the most recent one,” he said. firstname.lastname@example.org