VANDALIA — Saturday, October 1, will be a big day for the City of Vandalia’s Parks and Recreation department, as two new recreational amenities will be unveiled.
Crowds will first gather at the Vandalia Sports Complex at 10 a.m. for the official opening of the Training Ground, an outdoor fitness Area sponsored by MPower Sports Performance.
“In addition to the training hill that has various angled slopes, the Training Ground also features 1,635 square feet of high quality turf,” said Jeff Kreill, Vandalia Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “On the turf we two sections of pull-up bars one at a height of 7’7”, the other at 8’2”.
Kreill said there are also three plyo boxes at heights of 12”, 20” & 28”.
“This area is ideal for TRX workouts and a wide variety of other activities,” Kreill said. “The sand in the sand volleyball court also offers another great training mode.”
The Training Ground is already being put to use.
“We have trainers who are conducting boot camp style workout classes at the Training Ground, and pee-wee football and soccer teams are taking advantage of the unique amenities to keep their team workouts fun and interesting.”
The other grand opening taking place on October 1 will be at 11 a.m. at Helke Park, where a new disc golf course will be officially christened.
Parks and Recreation Director Steve Clark said the creation of the course was an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
“The ash borer has had a devastating effect on our local ash tree population,” Clark said. “In the last five years we have literally lost hundreds of the trees throughout Vandalia.”
Clark said that when more than 80 trees needed to be removed from a densely wooded area of Helke Park, it created a unique opportunity.
“Helke Park is roughly 80 acres, with about a third of it wooded,” Clark said. “We’ve been able to repurpose the land as an amenity that will most likely get more use as a disc golf course than it did as a tree grove.”
Clark said that local disc golfers played a large role in helping his department create the course.
“Ken Harbaugh approached the City years ago, and we just didn’t have a location that would work for the course,” Clark said. “When we knew the trees had to come out, we reached out to Mr. Harbaugh and local disc golfer Gil Walton, and both were very generous with their time in helping up to lay out a course that will be fun for novices and challenging for experienced disc golfers.”
The course includes tee boxes complete with concrete pads for every hole. Eventually there will be tee marker signs installed that illustrate the hole, giving the disc golfer a clear understanding of the layout. Each basket is numbered to eliminate any confusion.
Reach the Vandalia Recreation Center at 937-415-2340.