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Grand opening of Rotary outdoor gym in Twin Rivers Park

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
November 8th, 2012

Yesterday saw the opening of a novel amenity for Castlegar, furthering the city’s focus on green alternatives and healthy community. About 25 people were on hand to see the ribbon cut for the Castlegar Rotary’s outdoor gymnasium, just off the Millennium Walkway, slightly south of the main parking lot.

The brain child of Rotary member Don McDowell, the gym has been in the works for roughly two years and was a project for which both the city’s rotary clubs teamed up, according to project co-chair Ron Armbruster.

“The project was first proposed by Sunrise Rotary Club Don McDowell, and everybody was keen on the idea,” he said, adding the finished project includes a recycled-tire surface with a dozen pieces of equipment than can accommodate as many as 20 people at a time.

“The equipment is all made out of powder-coated steel – they’re good, sturdy pieces of equipment that are designed to last out in the elements,” he said, adding they’re all low impact and employ the user’s body weight – meaning no massive weight stacks, ropes or pulleys that might cause injury to residents. “It’s a very simple concept.”

Free to use and open year-round, the gym cost roughly $80,000. Each of the two Rotary Clubs contributed just over 25 per cent, Tire Stewardship BC offered 50 per cent of the surfacing and corporate sponsors helped with the rest, including Columbia Basin Trust, Kootenay Savings Credit Union, Teck, and RDCK Area J, according to Armbruster, as well as the city’s donation of the land and in-kind assistance.

“There were lots of other, smaller donours, too,” he added.

He said similar projects in other communities have proven very popular, and he feels this one will most certainly follow suit. 

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