BEACHWOOD, Ohio — The recently opened Fitness Court, an outdoor gym that provides a variety of exercise stations for those seeking improved fitness, has become a well-used asset at City Park East.
The Fitness Court, which officially opened June 29 a few hundred feet from the Barkwood dog park, was planned more than a year ago when the idea was brought to City Council by Councilman Eric Synenberg, who saw one overlooking San Francisco Bay, along the Marina Green trail network.
Taking this idea, Beachwood combined its Fitness Park with an additional exercise area that includes six heavy-duty pieces of exercise equipment. Synenberg explained that the idea to add the exercise equipment at City Park East was that of now-retired Beachwood recreation supervisor Pete Conces.
”That (Fitness Court in San Francisco) is obviously beautiful,” Synenberg said. “When you’re working out, you actually get to look at the Golden Gate Bridge. Ours is picturesque by Beachwood standards, but maybe not by those standards.
“From what I’ve seen, a lot of people are using it,” he said of Beachwood’s Fitness Court. “We have classes there, and there have been comments on Facebook about adding more classes. I saw yesterday a comment requesting a class for couples.
“We can’t dictate how many people are going to use amenities, or not. All we can do is offer what we feel are good amenities.”
The Fitness Court, free to use, is part of the National Fitness Campaign. A QR code on its wall allows anyone to download a workout. There are also videos and challenges at the website nationalfitnesscampaign.com.
Measuring 2,500 square feet, the hard-surfaced Fitness Court offers a “seven-movement, seven-minute bodyweight fitness circuit.” The seven movements are each divided into “easy,” “medium” and “hard” versions of an exercise.
The seven movements each strengthen a different part of the body. The movements involve a core workout and exercises that require squats, pushing, lunging, pulling, agility and bending.
Adding some color, each Fitness Court — there is also one in the city of Avon and about 100 around the country — includes art. In Beachwood’s case, the Beachwood Arts Council and the city’s community service department selected the work “Five Seasons in Ohio,” by Cleveland artist Eileen Dorsey.
The Fitness Court was installed at a cost of $149,990 after the city received a $30,000 National Fitness Campaign grant. The city also spent $20,000 on concrete and $36,489 for the six exercise machines. The total cost to the city was $206,479.
The Fitness Park was one phase of a project that will, by next year, include restrooms with utility connections, a pavilion and additional parking.
City Park East is located on the east side of Richmond Road, at Shaker Boulevard.
Synenberg, who serves as City Council vice president, said the Fitness Court and coming plans for City Park East are but one part of recreational upgrades expected to come in the next year or two.
While nothing has been finalized, Synenberg said, “What has been discussed by council and the administration is pickleball courts; updating the playground next to the (Beachwood Family Aquatic Center); the restrooms and picnic tables at City Park (East) next to the dog park and the fitness equipment. And there’s other ideas people have, council members, community members and the administration, in terms of a skateboard park, and returning at least one of the basketball courts (that had been removed from the Aquatic Center recreation area to make way for community gardens).
“There’s a host of ideas,” he said. “But the bottom line is we’re continuing to make Beachwood have the best recreation and community services offerings in the area.”
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