Exercise Stations for Pelham Park Park’s ‘Rice Stadium’ track

Exercise Stations for Pelham Park Park’s ‘Rice Stadium’ track
An artist’s rendering of the area that will have workout equipment.
Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Vacca

It is time to get fit, and you’ll soon have more ways than ever to do it in Pelham Bay Park.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca says he has secured $416,000 in funding to construct an outdoor Adult Fitness Area along the side of the track near Middletown Road in Pelham Bay Park.

The outdoor fitness equipment for adults will include a sit up bench, a “captain’s chair,” a dip bench, a parallel bar, a cycle, rings, and mechanisms that help do chest presses, lat pull-downs, vertical presses, upright cycles, chin-ups, leg extensions, and push ups.

Community Board 10 voted in support of Vacca’s allocation for the park on Thursday, June 19.

“Exercising outside is not only a lot of fun, but it can be key to a healthier lifestyle,” said Vacca. “Residents in my district do not have enough public places where they can work out, so I am happy to fund the first fitness area of its kind in Pelham Bay Park, followed shortly after by another one in Bronx Park East.”

The fitness equipment will be made of durable materials that should be able to withstand weather and any tampering, said Vacca.

According to the Parks Department, the installation of the Adult Equipment is scheduled to be put out to bid next Spring and construction could begin next Summer. It will be located near the Middletown Road parking lot.

The Friends of Pelham Bay Park set the goal of its annual fund-raiser in March to purchase more exercise outdoor exercise equipment, so Friends of Pelham Bay Park’s Lizbeth Gonzalez stated that both their group and Vacca were working virtually in tandem.

“We both chose the purchase of outdoor exercise equipment for Pelham Bay Park as our 2014 objective,” stated Gonzalez. “This means that park users will have options in several sections of the park – not just one location – where Bronxites can become healthy in mind and body. It doesn’t make a difference whether you’re young or old, healthy or becoming healthy, have special needs or just want to have fun: Pelham Bay Park is the place where all of us can grow a healthy Bronx.”

At the same time, according to a Parks Department Preliminary Review Report, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has also allocated $200,000 to fund the creation of a similar outdoor gym for children along the track’s western edge.

That facility will include an overhead climber, ring pull, stationary cycler, and wheelchair accessible cyclers.

Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that for the public to understand the type of equipment that will be installed alongside the track in Pelham Bay Park, it might be good to look to Co-op City’s Greenway as an example and model.

“The [Co-op City management] put exercise stations along the Greenway if you want to see what it will look like.” said Kearns. “If it is anything like what they have in Co-op City, it is going to be very nice.”

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742–3393. E-mail him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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