Proposal to add fitness equipment to more Waco parks up for public review

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:54-04

Seven parks in Waco could get fitness equipment next year, if the draft of the City of Waco Housing and Economic Development Annual action plan is approved.

The proposed project, which would be funded through $171,400 from a Community Development Block Grant, would allow for Cotton Palace Park, Bell's Hill Park, Mitchell Park, Council Acres Park, Brooklyn Park, North Waco Park and Oakwood Park to have the workout equipment equipment.

According to Housing & Economic Development Department Mellett Harrison, the chosen parks have some low-income residents living near it.

Senior Parks Planner Tom Balk said there is an increasing demand for health and fitness initiatives in the city.

"While we know already that the park walking loops are very well used. We've heard through a number of meetings the addition of the fitness equipment would be very welcome. It would help support those goals of living more healthfully," Balk said.

Currently only Seley Park has fitness equipment after the city added it through a private donation.

Amenities that Manuel Sandoval takes advantage of every day.

"It's great stuff. You have everything from your legs to your upper body," Sandoval.

He added this workout outdoors allows him to save on a gym membership.

"It kinda saves me some money from going to the gym. That's the reason why I do it out here to save some money," Sandoval said.

There is also a proposal to add automatic doors at community centers, such as the Bledsoe Miller Community Center, Sul Ross Senior Center and the Dewey Community Center.

Balk said the community center is up to code but the accessibility upgrades would be helpful. 

"While that is not a necessary requirement per se. It's a major benefit to someone in a wheelchair or who is not real steady on their feet," Balk said.

The draft, which includes ways the city is proposing to use federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from October 1 to September 30th, is up for public review.

The public can comment on the draft until July 24. There will be public hearings on the matter on July 18 and Aug. 1. The city council is expected to have a final say locally regarding the plan. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would have the final say at the federal level.

Four Waco parks have already been approved to get fitness equipment by the end of this summer, including East Waco, Gurley, Kendrick and Oscar Duconge Park.

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