Three east Bronx parks to have exercise stations

A sampling of the workout equipment to be placed in Pelham Bay Park is depicted here in a Parks Department presentation.
Photo courtesy of Parks Department

Get ready to strengthen your abs and biceps.

Three east Bronx parks were selected to receive body building equipment within the next year or two.

The City Council allocated about $618,000 towards constructing new exercise stations in Bronx Park East at Lydig Avenue, Pelham Bay Park near the running track, and Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park in Throggs Neck, according to a Parks Department spokesman.

The equipment is slated for anyone over 12 years of age.

The construction of the athletic equipment in Pelham Bay Park is expected to begin first, in the spring, and will complement pieces already in place at the park.

Councilman James Vacca secured the funding for all three projects, which according to a Parks Department spokesman includes $418,000 for Pelham Bay Park, and about $100,000 each for the two locations.

“I want to get rid of the Bronx’s distinction of being the 62nd county in the state out of 62 when it comes to being healthy,” said Vacca.

The Pelham Bay Park installation will include at least 12 pieces when complete, according to a Parks presentation.

These pieces are a leg extension, lat pull down, shoulder rotator, sit up bench, hanging rings, pullup bar, parallel bars, upright cycle, chest press, captain’s chair and vertical press.

“Hopefully, people will supplement using these with an appropriate diet and they will see results,” said the councilman.

Donations to the Friends of Pelham Bay Park funded three pieces of workout equipment that were installed next to the park’s running track in 2014.

The group applauded the latest development.

“We are grateful that Councilman Vacca allocated funding for a full-size outdoor fitness area for the park,” stated Judge Lizbeth Gonzalez, FPBP president. “Once construction for that area begins, the Friends will work with the Pelham Bay administrator’s office to re-locate the three pieces that we funded. A healthy Bronx is a great Bronx!”

At Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, six pieces of workout equipment are planned, but a coalition of local veterans is insisting that the area adjacent to a living memorial dedicated to the 1571 Vietnam War veterans from New York City who died during that conflict is preserved, said Pat Devine, one of the veterans who lobbied to get the park built.

“We support it, but not in the memorial area,” said Devine, referring to an area of trees and shrubs next to a flagpole in the park.

The preliminary plans show the workout equipment located next to the memorial area, said Devine.

He believes that the location of the equipment can be worked out before construction begins, and that there is ample space for it elsewhere in the park.

“The veteran community would like to have an on-site meeting with the Parks Department so we can all get on the same page,” said Devine.

Vacca said he was aware of the issue and he believes it can be resolved. According to Parks, construction at Veterans Park is slated for the fall of 2017.

A meeting was held on the Bicentennial Veterans Park plan on Monday, February 29.

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

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