Brampton park could get a ParticipACTION physical fitness transformation


Published May 11, 2023 at 12:06 pm

ParticipACTION wants Bramptonians to keep kit and have fun with plans to redesign a local park to promote physical and mental health.

A non-profit charity that got its start in 1971, ParticipACTION is looking to bring outdoor fitness options and upgrades to parks across Canada and has selected Brampton as one of four municipalities for its ParticiPARK project.

The group has selected the Bramalea Ltd Community Park for the project which could bring free and accessible installation to the park that encourages getting physically active outside in nature.

ParticipACTION’s mission is to encourage Canadians to stay physically active through engagement initiatives and public education, and the charity might be familiar from its BodyBreak television segments in the ‘80s and ‘90s featuring Canadian athletes-turned-TV-personalities Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod.

Ken Zolotar, manager of stakeholder relations with ParticipACTION, told a committee of council on Wednesday that the upgrades would include low-barrier outdoor fitness and movement activity stations that are inclusive for all, regardless of factors like age, ability, socioeconomic status, culture, and race.

Bramalea Ltd Community Park was selected due to its diverse demographic, accessibility by public transit, and proximity to community amenities. If given the green light, staff said 50 per cent of the cost would be covered by the City while Zolotar said the charity’s portion of the funding would come from federal grants.

ParticipACTION has plans to form a network of community groups and stakeholders for input on park design and community needs, as well as give residents a chance to share their thoughts on what amenities they would like to see added to the park.

No dollar figure was given for the cost of the project as ParticipACTION is currently in the design stage, but staff are looking at how they can support the project through funding opportunities and said there will be an update on costs to the City once plans are complete.

If the project does come to life, Coun. Rowena Santos said she’d like to see both Johnson and McLeod invited to the ribbon cutting.

“I love them, I’d love to bring them back. Maybe they can come to the park if and when we open it,” Santos said.

Other cities selected for the ParticiPARK program are Fredericton, Winnipeg, and La Ronge.

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