New fitness equipment, playground eyed for Waveny

Judith J. Mercado

Parks Department Superintendent John Howe told the Parks and Recreation Commission that he would like to see money in the 2021-22 capital budget for a new playground and updated adult fitness equipment for Waveny Park. He offered two scenarios to the commission for the 350-acre park at 677 South Ave. […]

Parks Department Superintendent John Howe told the Parks and Recreation Commission that he would like to see money in the 2021-22 capital budget for a new playground and updated adult fitness equipment for Waveny Park.

He offered two scenarios to the commission for the 350-acre park at 677 South Ave. – $261,000 to update the existing fitness equipment and safety matting and $429,000 to install a playground for children in addition to the updated apparatus.

“We feel strongly it would be a great place to also have a regular playground so the kids weren’t using the adult equipment all the time,” Howe said at a commission meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 13.


If it were approved, the activity area would have three components, comprised of a toddler’s area, a youth area and adult fitness space. The zones would not be separated by fencing, according to Howe after the meeting.

“It would nice to have a playground at Waveny for younger kids. It has always been an odd situation that it is not there,” commissioner Jack Hawkins said.

Chairman Rona Siegel said she wants to hear more about the mixed-use play area in the future.

“I think having a playground next to the workout area to prevent the children from going on that equipment is smart, and if it can blend into the landscape it is a great idea,” Siegel said.

The project started on a smaller scale, according to Howe.

“We wanted to update the safety surface of the adult fitness at Waveny,” Howe said.

When a contractor came out and looked at the equipment, he told Howe, “you really don’t want to put a rubberized surface around this equipment. It is coming to the end of it’s life expectancy,” Howe said.

Howe estimated the fitness equipment is nearly 10 years old.

The town department capital budgets are still in draft form, but Howe said the parks department is asking for money to maintain the playing fields; a new irrigation piping at Mead Park; water fountains; improvements to Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve; installing pickleball on tennis courts; and updating present equipment including a back-hoe loader.

“I think the best thing we can do is move our money to pickle (ball), “this coming spring and then repair tennis courts,” Director of Public Works Tiger Mann said.

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