Canada’s largest outdoor Parkour park has been nominated for a prestigious 2018 B.C. Wood Design Award.
The 10,000-square foot wooden obstacle course in Penzer Action Park in Langley City is a finalist in two categories, “Institutional Wood Design (Small)” and “Innovation” at the awards, which aim to “honor excellence in wood-based projects.”
Geoff Mallory, manager of parks operations at Langley City, said as far as anyone knows, it is the first time a City project has been nominated.
“We’re really pleased,” Mallory said.
Winners will be named Feb. 26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
More than 400 design and building professionals, including architects, structural engineers and project teams, along with industry sponsors will be attending the event.
There are 100 nominations in 14 categories, with submissions from across B.C. and Canada, as well as international projects from as far away as China.
The Wood Design Awards are presented by Wood WORKS! BC, the Canadian Wood Council and BC member associations with funding support from Natural Resources Canada and Forestry Innovation Investment.
Wood WORKS! is a national campaign to increase the use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction led by the Canadian Wood Council with funding support from the wood industry, federal and provincial governments.
The new Parkour facility in Langley City opened at 198C Street and 47A Avenue last year, following a $1.3 million re-do, with $500,000 coming from the federal government and $800,000 from the City.
The Parkour park, designed by Parkour Vision and installed by Marathon Athletics, 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.
Penzer Park also features 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 Parkour course has been more popular than expected, and that has forced the City to accelerate construction of its next phases.
“The demand has exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Mallory said.
Staff reported the redesigned Langley City park was drawing both bigger-than-expected crowds and some grumbling on social media about the porta-potties on the site as well as a lack of shade and places to sit.
Parking was a problem, too, occasionally overflowing from the already expanded lot onto nearby residential streets.
Steps are being taken, Mallory said, with the City adding 10 benches and preparing to plant 30 trees.
The City has just finished building a wood shelter that provides shade to some picnic tables next to the Parkour course, council has just given preliminary approval to a financial plan that includes expansion of the Penzer parking lot, and workers have been digging up the road in front of Penzer to prepare for the sewer and water hookups that will be required when the planned new washrooms go in.
It’s hoped construction will begin this spring.
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.