Geary Park has been home to outdoor fitness equipment since Sept. 10. The equipment is one of many upgrades that the park has received during the past few years.

Geary Park has been home to outdoor fitness equipment since Sept. 10. The equipment is one of many upgrades that the park has received during the past few years.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Geary Park gets outdoor fitness equipment installed

Council takes step toward building Martin Road Park splash pad

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published October 7, 2021


FERNDALE — Geary Park in Ferndale received a significant upgrade recently when outdoor fitness equipment was installed.

On Sept. 10, the park held a grand opening for its fitness equipment, which features pieces that work out muscles from shoulders to legs. Ferndale has been working on Geary improvements for several years, with the equipment following in the footsteps of the site’s skate park.

To get to these improvements after many years of investment has been the most rewarding part of the process, said Parks and Recreation Director LaReina Wheeler.

“It just shows that we really hit the mark and it’s an amenity that’s not just gonna go to waste,” she said. “It’s something that our community wanted. It’s something that our community is using. Every time I go by the park and I see the skate park activated, I see people on the walking paths and see people utilizing our outdoor fitness equipment, it just warms my heart and just validates all the hard work that we’ve done.”

Ferndale also took an important step in its improvements at Martin Road Park and its long-wanted splash pad at the City Council’s Sept. 27 meeting

Back in 2020, the city selected a splash pad design from Vortex Aquatic Structures. To complete the design and construct it, Ferndale received two bids, but “due to the cost of bonding for the equipment and construction, the preferred bidder was not able to meet city standards,” and the process was terminated, city documents state.

The council decided to purchase the splash pad equipment directly from a vendor and find a contractor who is qualified to install the Vortex design.

“We want to execute the design that our community had input on and that we approved at that time, which was through Vortex,” said Wheeler. “The actual installation of the equipment, we are going to be contracting that out, but in order to install the system, you have to … be certified to be able to do that. We’re looking to have a competitive bid, but only to those that we know are certified and qualified to install that (Vortex) system.”

Ferndale still has eyes to improve its parks more. Given that the city is currently updating its Parks and Recreation master plan, Councilwoman Kat Bruner James said there will be some continued updates not only at Geary and Martin Road parks, but at the other Ferndale parks as well.

“I know that at Martin Road Park, we would like to see some expanded bathroom and changing (rooms), potentially even concession facilities at some point down the road to complement the splash pad,” she said.

James added that a pavilion at Wanda Park could be completed by the end of the calendar year, and the two play structures at Geary Park could be relocated and consolidated to have them closer together.

“Ultimately, these are just sort of critical steps towards long-term improvements in the parks and, hopefully, through this master plan update, we’ll have some more specific recommendations early next year,” James said.