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Fitness parks may be coming to Turlock

POSTED June 14, 2013 7:06 p.m.

Enjoy working out? Frustrated with the lack of public workout locations in Turlock?

You might just be in luck.

On Wednesday, members of the Turlock Parks and Recreation Commission discussed the idea of possibly building public fitness centers in two of Turlock's parks.

Parks commissioner Andrew Davoodian is heading the proposed fitness project, stating that there is a definite need for fitness parks in Turlock.

“This is something that can apply to everyone,” said Davoodian. “From children to the elderly, a project like this has a wide reach.”

The proposed fitness parks will either be in one of two different formats. The first format being a simple bar that will carry a sign that will suggest general exercises, stretches, and health tips to promote public health and fitness. These poles would be relatively inexpensive costing around $50 to $100 a unit.

The second option would include a more intricate park, with moving parts, bar systems and multiple stations. The estimated cost for the second option is upwards of $1,000 dollars.

Davoodian said he hopes that funding for the proposed projects will come from community members and local business that are looking to promote healthy lifestyles and public health.

“This truly would be a community wide effort,” he said.

Davoodian is tentatively looking at Playworld Systems, a company that designs and sells play places for public facilities, to help create the proposed project. Companies like Playworld Systems have developed fitness parks for surrounding major metropolitan cities including San Francisco and Sacramento, but have yet to build similar projects in Turlock. 

The proposed project would be the first of its kind in the area.

Davoodian, who will be entering the dual masters in public health and medical programs at UC Davis next fall, stated that Turlock needs to set the precedent for public health in the Valley.

“Turlock has always been a trend center,” said Davoodian. “We see a cultural shift towards being unhealthy and we want to tread away from that norm.”

Currently, there are no specific sites selected for the fitness parks, but an ad-hoc committee will be created to investigate placement options.

The idea for a fitness park is not new to the Parks Commission. Earlier this year Jenn Neal, who runs ABC Fitness, proposed a similar project. However, a $22,000 price tag for Neal's proposed project brought with it second thoughts.

According to Davoodian, the commission is trying to make this “a reality as soon as possible,” with a tentative completion date by next fall.

“Our primary goal as a commission is to provide for the community,” said Davoodian. “ A project like this would do just that.”

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