Gwen Kainess, 11, tries out the Parkour course at Penzer Park in Langley City. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Canada’s biggest outdoor Parkour park may need more parking

“A magical combination” of facilities produces a better-than-expected attendance in Langley City

The redesigned Langley City park that is home to the biggest outdoor Parkour facility in Canada is drawing bigger-than-expected crowds.

That success may force the city to add some additional parking spaces, washroom facilities and a water fountain ahead of schedule, said Rick Bomhof, the City Director of Engineering, Parks and Environment.

“The park has been a tremendous success and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it, but along with that success has come some challenges,” Bomhof said.

“It’s far morethan what we could have imagined.”

Penzer Action Park at 198C Street and 47A Avenue underwent a $1.3 million re-do this year, with $500,000 coming from the federal government and $800,000 from the City.

About 80 per cent of the park was redone.

The only part that remained untouched was the bike skills park, which was overhauled in 2015.

The former baseball diamond and soccer pitch now features a Parkour facility believed to be the biggest of its kind in Canada, a 10,000-square foot collection of heavy-duty wooden forms designed to accommodate a sport where competitors navigate obstacles by running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, and other movements.

The Parkour park, designed by Parkour Vision and installed by Marathon Athletics, is connected to a pair of new playgrounds designed for children aged two to five, and five to 12.

All of it rests on three inches of shock-absorbing rubber made from recycled tire, with a red and black pattern that offers kids the challenge of avoiding the red “lava” as they navigate the course.

The park also boasts a European-design multi-purpose sports plaza that can accommodate various sports including basketball, soccer, ball hockey and volleyball and a one-of-a kind “pump track” designed by and built for skateboarders that can accommodate scooters and cyclists.

The crowds have been coming ever since Penzer re-opened on Thursday, June 29.

During a recent weekday afternoon visit by a Times reporter the brand-new parking lot was packed with vehicles and well over 100 children and adults were making use of the facilities.

Many parents arrived with portable chairs and shade umbrellas to maintain comfort while they kept an eye on their children.

“I think its just a magical combination, really, of playground equipment that people seem to really enjoy,” Bomhof said.

While no definite decisions have been made, Bomhof said the city is looking into adding more parking and larger washroom facilities.

“We have considered doing some of these things a little sooner than we anticipated,” Bomhof said.

While Penzer already has washroom facilities, they are located at the opposite end of the park, near the cycling facility that predates the new equipment.

Bomhof said, depending on direction from council, planning for a new washroom could start this fall.

In the short run, the City is looking at adding some benches to give people a place to sit, he said.

 

Matthew Summers, 9, rides the one-of-a kind “pump track” at Penzer Partk in Langley City. The recently refurbished park has proven to be even more popular than expected. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Dyllan Ditchfield, 9, completes a circuit of the pump track at Penzer Park in Langley City. The better-than-expected success of the park has planners considering adding new features ahead of schedule. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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