Bronx Park fitness equipment dedicated

Mitchell Silver, NYC Parks commissioner; Councilman James Vacca; Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, Bronx NYC Parks commissioner; Maggie Scott Greenfield, NYC Parks Bronx River administrator and Bronx River Alliance executive director; Arlene Drayton, Community Board 11 Parks Committee chairwoman and Wings Academy youth cut a ribbon on Bronx Park improvements on Thursday, April 13.
Patrick Rocchio / Community News Group

The community celebrated a new adult workout station and basketball court in Bronx Park.

A ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 13 dedicated a new adult fitness area and an additional basketball court in Bronx Park near the Unionport Road entrance.

The new fitness area includes more than a dozen workout stations, many of which simulate popular gym fitness machines and equipment like parallel bars and a sit-up bench.

The enhancements were funded by Councilman James Vacca with $200,000 in capital dollars and took roughly three years to bring to fruition, he said.

“I really think these exercise stations have many purposes…you can enjoy the park, exercise and get fresh air all in ‘one fell swoop,’” said Vacca. “You could do a whole circuit here going from one exercise to another.”

According to the Vacca, there are two other fitness equipment projects that should be completed within the year, in Pelham Bay and Colucci parks, that he also funded.

According to a Vacca spokesman, the Pelham Bay Park fitness station is scheduled for a summer completion, while the contractor at Colucci Park has until March 2017 to complete the project.

Each of the workout devices are virtually vandal-proof.

The councilman sees value in the fitness areas because they address the borough’s overall lagging health indicators, as chronicled in a Robin Wood Johnson Foundation study.

“It is because I want to get the obesity issue addressed in the borough,” said Vacca. “I think exercise will help address that, and I think it will mean improved quality of life or longevity for people.”

The fitness area includes parallel bars, two chest presses, lat pull down, sit up bench, recumbent cycle, push up, chin up, upright cycle, leg extension and a ‘captain’s chair.’

Attendees at the ribbon cutting included Vacca; Mitchell Silver, NYC Parks Department commissioner; Iris-Rodriguez Rosa, NYC Parks Department borough commissioner; Maggie Greenfield, Bronx River Alliance executive director and Arlene Drayton, Community Board 11 Parks Committee chairwoman.

Silver said in his remarks that the addition was a sign that people could get even healthier in Bronx Park.

“The inclusion of fitness equipment here in Bronx Park will improve the recreational space at this site and will serve as a useful amenity for both the adults and children of our community,” Silver said.

Drayton said the new fitness equipment is a “great improvement” that will be used by young and old.

“It is very good in terms of bringing healthy choices to the community,” she said.

Greenfield, in her remarks, welcomed the improvements as something that would encourage park use.

The dignitaries were joined by a group of students from Wings Academy and as well as several community members to mark the occasion.

A local resident, Gregory Gill, said that using a machine that included a peddling motion was helpful in recovering from her foot surgery.

“When I saw this I though it was so nice,” he said. “I live across the road and can come here anytime.”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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