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Round Lake park getting playground upgrades

Fundraiser gets boost from Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation grant

041721.N.DG.WRHCFROUNDLAKE
Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation Executive Director Jeff Rotert (from left) stands with Round Lake park committee members Denise Kennedy, Bobbi Habben and Jennifer Rehnelt during a check presentation on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 in the park. Also on the park committee but missing from the photo are Desiree Junker and Angela Isder. (Ryan McGaughey/The Globe)
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ROUND LAKE — Thanks to a fundraising campaign and a grant from the Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation (WRHCF), new playground equipment is coming soon to Round Lake’s city park.

Approximately 90% of the current equipment in the park will be replaced, said Jennifer Rehnelt, a member of the Round Lake City Council as well as the community’s park committee. She and other park committee members gathered on a chilly late afternoon Wednesday, as WRHCF Executive Director Jeff Rotert presented a ceremonial check in the amount of $46,346 to the city.

“We’ll place the purchase order (Thursday) … and we’ll have Smith Trucking haul it out of Fort Payne, Alabama, up here,” Rehnelt said. “Based on the weather, it will hopefully be installed in the first week of June.”

Among the new equipment on the way will be a new swing set that will also feature adaptive swings that offer handicap accessibility, Rehnelt said. A new handicap-accessible zipline is also coming to the park, as well as a new merry-go-round.

The WRHCF gift will cover the cost of a new playground structure that has long been in need of replacement.

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“That orange structure that we are going to be taking and replacing has been obsolete since 1992,” Rehnelt shared. “That merry-go-round is more than 65 years old, and the red swing set is probably over 35 years old.”

A new dinosaur apparatus will replace an old model, too, and a sensory spinning seat that represents another handicap-accessible addition is also on the way. The total cost of all the new equipment is approximately $105,000, and is being covered thanks to efforts that began last summer.

“We started our fundraising at the end of August,” Rehnelt explained. “We had a list of businesses we wanted to reach out to, not just in the community but in surrounding areas — businesses that have direct ties to our community, whether it’s people that work there or family members that work there.”

The city of Round Lake, meanwhile, pledged $25,000 toward the park upgrades, and later a connection was made with the WRHCF.

“By chance, Denise (Kennedy, park committee member) happened to talk to Kim Lambert, who had worked with 4-H on the fundraiser at the park in Brewster,” Rehnelt said. “I got in contact with her, and … Kim then got us in contact with Jeff.”

“We’re all about improving the overall health of people throughout the region, not just Worthington,” Rotert said. “We also want to help our area’s youth in whatever way we can.”

Rehnelt said donations toward city park equipment are still being accepted. Checks may be delivered or mailed to Round Lake City Hall, 98 Main St., Round Lake 56167; “park fund” should be written in the memo field on the check.

The new park equipment will be placed in such a way to make room for even more improvements as money is raised, Rehnelt said.

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Related Topics: ROUND LAKE
Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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