The Gardner Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee met at City Hall on Mar. 26. Staff photo by Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
In the Mar. 26 meeting, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee was updated on various parks programs getting underway in 2018 and Jason Bruce, parks and recreation director, gave a presentation on the National Fitness Campaign.

National Fitness Campaign
The National Fitness Campaign (NFC) has partial funding available for 100 communities that want to install a NFC “Fitness Court” in 2018.
The Fitness Court is a system of exercise stations designed for adults of all ages and fitness levels. It features a series of full-body exercises, called ‘7 Movements in 7 Minutes’, which is said to burn more calories per minute than most other forms of exercise.
Each piece of equipment allows users to leverage their body-weight at different angles and levels of resistance as a tool to improve over time.
Exercise equipment is installed on shock-resistant sports flooring in a specific layout and design.
The cost of the Fitness Court is $90,000. Selected cities would get $10,000 in grant funding from NFC.
Bruce mentioned Veterans Park, Winwood Park and Celebration Park as potential sites. The idea would be to place it somewhere within the trails system.
Committee members asked about upkeep after installation. Bruce said it was minor, similar to the upkeep of playground equipment.
There was discussion that perhaps the city could find other corporate partners to contribute to the project.

Parks and Recreation Updates:
• Matt McClure, recreation superintendent, chaired the meeting. During staff updates, McClure told the committee he was resigning to take the parks and recreation director position at Baldwin City. McClure has been with the city of Gardner for 11 years. His last day at Gardner is May 31 and he starts in Baldwin City on June 1.
• Last year, the city installed pedestals at Celebration Park to supply electrical power to vendor vehicles during events, specifically the Smoke on the Trails BBQ competition. McClure said the installation worked very well and the department is now looking at installing more pedestals.
• Bruce reported that the pool filter replacement is ahead of schedule and everything is looking good.
• Ball park dugouts at Celebration Park are getting new framework and metal roofs. The previous covering was a mesh material that has been damaged by age and wind.
• McClure said the pump in Gardner Lake that pumps water to the golf course would be replaced but the piping from the lake to the course was in good enough shape to stay. The irrigation pond will be dredged – it needs to be about fifteen feet deep but is only five and the pumps are sitting in mud.
• Over 800 kids are in soccer this year, over 700 playing baseball softball or T-ball. McClure said the summer baseball tournament schedule was “booked solid through July” and there were 4 fall tournaments already booked.
• McClure said the names of the performers at this years July 4th event will be announced by the city on Mar. 30. He said there would be two nationally known acts this year.