BY HANNAH KING
A wellness park is a grouping of stationary fitness equipment located outdoors intended for public use.
The goal of such parks is to improve mobility, strength, flexibility and cardiovascular health.
Did you know we have one in Nanaimo, and that our community was one of the first in North America to have such an amenity?
It is tucked in beside the playground and the walking trails at Oliver Woods Community Centre, 6000 Oliver Rd.
The park opened in June 2009, and is the result of the efforts and fundraising prowess of the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors.
“While the equipment is suitable for seniors and those with mobility issues, it is available to and would benefit everyone,” said Lynda Avis, NHCS president.
“We would love to see more people using the amenity; it’s a perfect addition to the complex at Oliver Woods. You can walk the trails, do a workout and then visit with friends in the lobby area of the community centre.”
The incorporation of exercise equipment into an urban park setting is not a new idea. In fact, wellness parks are very common in parts of Asia.
A similar park in Delta first caught the attention of the seniors’ group. Members worked with city parks planning staff on the research, design and layout of the Oliver Woods wellness park.
Parks, recreation and culture staff is hosting more orientation sessions over the coming months to introduce people to the park and provide more information on the versatility of the equipment.
The park equipment is available for use for everyone over the age of 13. For more information about the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors, please call 250-755-7501. For information about Oliver Woods Community Centre, please go to www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.
Hannah King is a marketing and communication specialist with Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.