Ventureland playground eyes fitness

New equipment for Parksville Lions to cost $42,000, plus some material and installation charges

A GreenGym installation in Burns Lake similar to one the Lions Club hope to bring to Parksville.

A GreenGym installation in Burns Lake similar to one the Lions Club hope to bring to Parksville.

The Parksville Lions Club, which operates the renown Ventureland children’s playground in Parksville’s Community Park, is looking to update and expand their facility.

They want to install nine pieces of GreenGym outdoor exercise equipment and made their request to Parksville city council recentlty.

Speaking on behalf of the Lions, Duane Round and James Brand described the stationary equipment which would enable 56 different exercises and provide long term benefits like a healthier community.

In co-operation with the parks department, they selected an area on the beach side of the water park where parents could work out and still watch their children.

Though they are looking at the Senior Fit package, Round said it will benefit all ages and provide yet another draw in the park that attracts over 50,000 visitors a year.

The GreenGym equipment is similar to indoor gym equipment but more robust, weatherproof and colourful. It uses body weight for resistance, keeping it simple and more like a playground than intimidating gym.

The equipment will cost $42,000 plus some material and installation costs bringing the total to $60,000.

The Lions will do most of the installation themselves to keep costs down and will ask the city to share whatever costs are left after fundraising.

They are applying to the PQ Foundation, the regional district and the provincial government and will continue to canvass charities and local groups for contributions of cash and in-kind services.

Councilors suggested ideas the Lions said they would consider like partnering with local fitness trainers and other potential user groups and fundraising through sponsorships.

The Lions acquired the playground from the city in 1985 with 10 worn out features and have built it up to over 80.

Round repeated what he’s told council in the past, that they’d like to be part of the city’s long term park and financial planning to better plan their own projects.

Only meant as an information presentation, council unanimously forwarded it to their ongoing budget deliberations.