Old playground equipment removed from Brown Park, travels thousands of miles to children in need

Brown Park gets new playground equipment

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A major renovation project is going on right now at a Louisville park.

Brown Park is getting a new pavilion, restrooms, and playground. The park is located in St. Matthews off of Kresge Way.

Over the years, countless children have had fun on the playground there.

"Because this playground equipment is old, it can't be added on to," St. Matthews Mayor Richard Tonini said. "The reality is the equipment was going to be destroyed."

Instead of being destroyed, Ed Davis, president of E-Z construction had an idea. Davis’ company procured a contract for the park improvements. Davis and his wife recently came back from an immersion trip to Belize through Hand in Hand Ministries.

Ed Davis with Belize residents.
Ed Davis with Belize residents. (Ed Davis)

“Many of the people living in Belize City live in some pretty severe poverty, which is why we build houses,” Marla Cautilli from Hand in Hand ministries said.

Davis realized the opportunity to relocate Brown Park’s play equipment to the Fowler Community Center in Belize, where he volunteered.

"When I think about kids getting to play on this in Belize, they don't see playgrounds like this," Cautilli said.

The city of St. Matthews decided to donate the playground. Barron Hawkins and his E-Z Construction team are took the playground apart, where it was loaded onto a shipping container.

“There is a truck out there, going to take it to a rail car, the rail car is going to take it to Texas, from Texas it’s going to get on a ship and go to Belize,” Cautilli said.

The playground was disassembled and will travel over 2,500 miles to Belize, where it will be reassembled for children to play on.
The playground was disassembled and will travel over 2,500 miles to Belize, where it will be reassembled for children to play on. (WAVE 3 News)

The trip from Brown Park to Belize City will be around 2,630 miles and take around three weeks. Hawkins will be traveling to Belize to help put the playground back together.

“When I was a kid I was very, very poor, we had nothing,” Hawkins said. “I can relate to what these kids are going to feel like when they see this. It makes me happy.”

"This will be the best playground that they have ever seen there," Cautilli said. "Super exciting."

The shipping container with the playground in it left Louisville on Monday and Hand and Hand Ministries loaded it up with books, toys, and furniture.

Renovations on Brown Park are expected to cost $500,000 and will be done by early June.

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