The Pleasanton Parks and Recreation department is doing its part to keep the community active this summer.
The department, which has been around for about one year, launched its first summer program this June to encourage outdoor recreation. The effort is part of Pleasanton’s “Healthy City” initiative.
Many of the activities provided by Parks and Recreation are free, including Yoga in the Park and Running Club. Others come at a small fee, such as the $2 Zumba and water aerobics classes.
Tony Aguirre, Parks and Recreation facilities coordinator, helped get the initiative off the ground.
“We’re trying to make everything readily and easily accessible, at a very low cost, if any,” Aguirre said. “We’re providing free classes to those who want to get fit and stay healthy. At the same time, we’re trying to create community.”
Aguirre said the classes have also served as a way to meet new people. The groups offer accountability and opportunity for friendship.
The active-lifestyle movement mirrors those in cities such as San Antonio and New Braunfels, Aguirre said. He added Pleasanton is ready to provide similar programs.
“We are already that type of city where we can provide those. We’re large enough,” Aguirre said. “It’s time that this city has some sort of health-fitness programs to offer. We want everybody outdoors.”
Because the programs are new, Aguirre said the department is still experimenting with best practices. Adjustments are being made as feedback begins to come in.
In fact, a new group was recently formed because of demand. Erica Lopez, Cafe Chris co-owner and Parks and Recreation board member, heads the Running Club and started a new class for those interested in walking.
“I talked to a lot of people, and they’re like, ‘I don’t want to run. I’ll walk,’” Lopez said. “And I said, ‘Well, then we can walk.’”
Aguirre said the department continues to welcome feedback.
“That’s the great thing about our parks program right now. Since we’re starting off, we’re trying to accommodate everybody,” he said. “We’ll hear from everybody.”
The newly-launched walking group will meet Wednesdays at 6:15 a.m.
The Running Club meets Mondays at 6:15 a.m. for beginners and Thursday at 6:15 a.m. for advanced runners.
Lopez said the beginning group, called “Couch to 5K,” has its eyes on an upcoming race.
CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, will hold a Color Run 5K on July 21.
“It just kind of worked out to where it’s the middle of the summer and [Running Club] is going to be in full swing,” Lopez said. “The people that are doing the Running Club have a local 5K to look forward to, because that doesn’t happen too often.”
The Parks and Recreation department also offers a HIT, or high-intensity training, class at 6:30 a.m. on Fridays. The class, which offers workouts similar to CrossFit, is free.
Yoga in the Park is every Monday at 8:30 a.m. Both of these classes meet at the River Park.
Zumba is offered Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m. Water aerobics are Tuesday-Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the city pool.
The city’s recreational sports are also underway.
For more information or to give feedback on summer activites, visit pleasantontx.gov/parks_and_recreation or call Aguirre at 830-569-5904.
“Today, a 5-year-old has an iPhone or a MacBook,” Aguirre said. “We want people back outdoors in the park. Especially with our brand-new park renovations that are happening right now.”