Fredericton builds a playground for adults

(Megan Cooke/AQ)
Fredericton’s new adult fitness site (Megan Cooke/AQ)

The city of Fredericton has installed an adult fitness site, the first of its kind in the city, on the walking trail adjacent to University Avenue.

Camille Melrose, a bicyclist who rides the trails, says it looks like a lot of fun.

“I really like the idea of having an adult playground that encourages do-it-yourself fitness instead of expensive memberships or equipment that you maybe really don’t need,” said Melrose.

The equipment cost the city $23,000 to purchase and install and is intended to promote physical fitness to the community. It is produced by Little Tykes Commercial Play Systems, a company known for producing children’s playground equipment. It features 10 workout stations that include pull up bars, parallel bars, balance beams, and step-up pads.

The equipment is advertised as an adult fitness site, but there are no signs that it will be enforced as such. Fredericton police are not specifically watching the equipment for misuse.

Kate Baird, city recreation officer, said what makes it an adult park is that it is designed for adults.

“The bars and beams are big for children’s hands,” said Baird. “It’s not that mom and dad aren’t going to be at the park and the kids aren’t going to be around with them. The dimensions of it have been designed for adults, just like a kids playground is designed for kids.”

While it’s hard to argue against a fitness initiative that’s free to the public, not everyone is excited about the park, including STU student Max Huras.

“It’s good that Fredericton is trying to promote health and wellness, but it’s a bit of an eyesore. Seeing people all sweaty and working out on it isn’t the best thing when you’re just trying to walk. It’s only like a foot from the walking trail,” he said.

Despite naysayers, the city firmly believes the park-side fitness centre is a good idea and the support is there from the public.

“It came from the pubic, we’ve had a fair number of people asking for a fair number of years. We looked at what was available and what other towns were doing. We’ve spent a fair bit of time making sure we got the right stuff,” said Baird.

Should the park become a popular spot, city council will look at adding another outdoor fitness facility in the city.

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