Lindsay Advocate article published July 4, 2019
By Laurie Scott, The Lambton Shield
Local MPP Laurie Scott participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for Ontario’s first Seniors’ Play Park, which is about to be built in Fenelon Falls. Thanks to the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team receiving a $121,600 Capital grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation earlier this year, the park is on its way to becoming a reality.
“I am pleased that the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team has been awarded a $121,600 grant to build the first Play Park in Fenelon Falls,” said Scott. “By providing a free and accessible recreational space for seniors, this is an investment in the promotion of social and active lifestyles.”
The creation of a Seniors’ Play Park for Fenelon Falls is the initiative of local resident Penni Holdham. The basic idea behind designing outdoor gyms and play areas for older adults or those with mobility challenges is to help improve people’s overall health and fitness and reduce isolation. The park, located at the Lloyd Kelly Parkette behind the Red Apple, will provide 24/7 outdoor space with activity stations that have no barriers to access.
“We are very proud to deliver the first Seniors’ Play Park in our area, generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Penni Holdham.
The most recent population data available indicates that 50 per cent of people living in Fenelon Falls are over 55 years of age. Seniors Play Parks are designed for older adults looking to safely maintain their flexibility, agility and mobility through use of low-impact equipment geared for gentle exercise while enjoying time with friends. It’s expected that the park will be an outdoor recreational space where seniors can engage in a range of stretching and balancing activities using the onsite, fun and easy-to-use activity stations. There will be no fees or set hours to use the park and all activities are self-guided.
“We are pleased to help provide opportunities for local seniors to stay active and socialize,” said Mike Perry, Executive Director of the City of Kawartha Lakes Family Health Team. “There are great health – and health care cost savings – benefits to keeping active and this kind of park really has great potential.”
The City of Kawartha Lakes municipality approved the park to be used for this purpose and will be taking care of its maintenance for the coming years. The park is scheduled to open this fall.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $108 million to some 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. For more information, please visit: www.otf.ca