A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

An outdoor gym for Albany’s Burkhart Park

Written June 17th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The old tennis court at Burkhart Park on June 13. The city is buying a “fitness court” for the park.

From time to time, the bike takes me past Burkhart Park in Albany, which features a playground, an abandoned tennis court, a couple of hoops and plenty of grass. Soon it will have something else, an outdoor “fitness court.”

The park lies at the south edge of the Willamette Neighborhood, between Fifth and Sixth avenues and west of Burkhart Street. On June 8 the city council approved a proposal by Albany Parks and Recreation Director Kim Lyddane to purchase a fitness court for the park.

Developed by National Fitness Campaign LP, the court amounts to an outdoor gym. It consists of a number of permanently fixed pieces of apparatus, from simple steps to rings and chin-up bars.

The company has patented the design and is the only one that sells it. So the council authorized the parks department to buy the installation under a “sole-source procurement method,” meaning without competitive bidding.

The project is costing $155,000, Lyddane told the council in a memo. The company is giving the city a $30,000 grant toward the purchase, which amounts to a discount.

Albany is using $105,000 in community development block grant money for the deal. The remaining $20,000 will come from a park maintenance account.

It’s not clear whether the installation is intended for the hard surface of the former tennis court. Lyddane’s memo mentions a concrete pad for the project that will need to be completed.

“The outdoor fitness court will provide needed improvement to the park and will help community members paticipate in positive, heathy activities,” the parks director told the council.

“Community members?” Which “community” would that be? Presumably she means “the public,” that is anyone who wants to use the equipment.

National Fitness Campaign has a website. Look it up if you want. Then wait for word on when you can visit this fitness court, try the equipment and see how your fitness improves over time. (hh)

The image of a fitness court is from the website of the National Fitness Campaign.

10 responses to “An outdoor gym for Albany’s Burkhart Park”

  1. Butch Franklin says:

    More unnecessary spending from the liberal, health-obsessed parks department. Why my water bill is so hi with that extra tax. It’s about time the city leaders spend some money on our first responders instead of frilly feel good crap like exercise parks and libraries in this town. Seems like to me for $150000 you could hire a few more police officers and let us eat our big macs in peace. At least the officers will do something useful and catch some of these drug addicts that are all over our parks and downtown climbing trees. Wake up Albany! There is no community. Just our out of touch government vs. we the people.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Spot on from Councilor Smith:

      “Reminder to Albany residents: the filing period to run for city council or mayor in the November 2022 general election is August 5-22. Three council seats and the mayor’s seat are open every even-numbered year. Details online after July 1 at http://www.cityofalbany.net/elections

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Butch, go fly a Kite!

      Us proud LIBS are apart of your “we the peeps” comment too.
      Anyways I would go along with your rant. Seems we need to fix the roads before spending $$$ the big bucks on parks.

      Now have a soda and a smile.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    It’s a nice addition to a park that needs an upgrade. And, healthful!

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    How do you keep the skateboarders off?

  4. TOPTBOSS says:

    20K could be used to actually maintain what the city still cannot maintain. Putting in something in an area that rains the majority of the year is ridiculous and wasteful spending of the grants. #DoBetter I wonder how the taxation without representation, fees to water/sewer bills are going to make up for the city budget shortfalls?

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