Midland parks getting facelifts, but won't feature adult exercise equipment

·2 min read

Some of Midland's parks will be rejuvenated with new playground equipment, but there won't be any adult exercise fixtures.

The news was delivered by Dylan Flannery, operations manager, answering a question by a Midland Seniors Council member, who was attending a recent Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting.

"With this amount of funding and the extent of the need, the focus needs to be on the playground structures themselves," he said. "We are taking into consideration that there are multiple age groups, but the goal would be to target at least two groups at one particular location. It would be toddlers and the next age group.

"I'd love for us to get there one day, it is not, however, going to be the focus of this project," added Flannery.

He did say that staff will investigate other ways of getting funding for adult exercise equipment.

Committee member Lisa Belcourt had questions about the kinds of materials that will be used under the play structures.

"Speaking as a litigation lawyer, from the town's perspective, I'd want to make sure that's being looked at," she said.

Flannery said that detail will be clarified in the request for proposals.

"Prior to this, we were able to do a little bit of research into different types of cost but we're approaching it with the goal and mindset of ensuring accessibility at all locations," he said. "What's going to make the most fiscal sense is a form of wood chips. There's lots of ground up rubber and different types of products, but the cost is not comparable."

Belcourt asked about complementary fixtures.

"In terms of accessibility for parents and caregivers in the area of the playground, is that something that will be looked at as sort of an adjunct to the playground equipment in terms of picnic tables or things like that?" she asked.

Adding those features comes at an increased cost, said Flannery, adding the playgrounds will follow all other standards of accessibility.

"How can they be complemented with the addition of a picnic table," he said, "those are extras that can be added later on."

Flannery said as a next step, staff will sift through the 119 responses to the survey posted on Engaging Midland to put together a staff report and eventually a tender package.

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com