by Erica Dynes, Times-Press
Those looking for a new place to workout in Reedsburg can do so without a gym membership and in the outdoors.
Four of eight pieces of fitness equipment were installed along North Park’s concrete walking track during the summer. The equipment includes a multi-gym, an elliptical and leg and chest press, for those who want to get in their daily workout outdoors. The multi-gym is for exercises like box jumps, dips and pull-ups.
North Park is directly behind the hospital.
Parks and Recreation Director Matt Scott said the city plans to install two more pieces of equipment sometime in 2020 and two more in 2021, depending on funding.
Scott said the city began looking into the upgrade about two years ago, when Reedsburg Area Medical Center was expanding 19th Street and Ridgeview Drive for the first phase of its expansion project.
Because the expansion took up some of the park’s land, the hospital installed a new basketball court and shelter as a part of its agreement with the city. It was around that time the city looked into installing fitness equipment at Webb Park, but later changed to North Park because of the additional amenities, Scott said.
He said setting up fitness equipment in parks and downtown areas is growing concept among bigger cities around the nation.
“It’s good just for the general public for those who can’t afford gym memberships who want to work out on a leg press or a chest press or the multi-gym,” Scott said. “We’re trying to encourage people to get out and exercise.”
Besides the equipment, North Park has also received a makeover with 16 new trees and new benches with donations from the Reedsburg Rotary Club, Scott said.
He estimates one piece of fitness equipment costs $5,000, including the cost of installation, rubber surfacing and the cost of the equipment. Scott said other businesses and community organizations have donated towards the fitness equipment installation project.
Reedsburg Area Medical Center Physical Therapist Jennifer Schneider is helping the city choose the pieces of equipment. Along with $10,000 set aside in next year’s parks budget, money raised from the city’s summer triathlon raises funds for the project. This year, under $1,000 was raised from this year’s kid’s triathlon since the adult event was cancelled due to low participation, she said.
Scott said the city is accepting donations for the equipment’s installation. Those who want to donate can stop by or call city hall at 608-524-6404.
Schneider said North Park is an ideal place to install the equipment because its accessible to anyone who wants to work out, especially with the walkway and benches for those who can’t walk far to rest and for parents to work out while watching their children playing in the park. Scott said the location is convenient for senior citizens to utilize with the different types of senior housing nearby.
“Our role is just promoting fitness and having it accessible to the community,” she said. “The most we can do to promote fitness to everyone is kind of what our goals are and that is one way because anyone can use this equipment.”
Schneider said Reedsburg Area Medical Center has talked about using the equipment to hold fitness classes for youth and employees in the summer. She said hosting community fitness classes could be an option on the table in the future.
“I think I would like to wait until everything is in until we did something like that,” Schneider said. “We’re open to whatever the community needs or wants.”