Riverfront Park gets outdoor exercise equipment
Published 7:45 am Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Exercise enthusiasts will likely be pumped up by a new addition to Riverfront Park in Niles.
On Friday, Be Healthy Berrien completed the installation of 12 pieces of outdoor fitness equipment at the park, located along the St. Joseph River in the downtown area.
The equipment stretches from the boat launch south of Grant Street north to the outdoor volleyball courts near the skate park.
Jessica Stauffer, of Be Healthy Berrien, said the equipment cost about $18,000. An additional $4,000 worth of signage and maps will be installed later.
The equipment is open and free for all to use. Each piece includes a sign with instructions and a few suggested workouts. As individuals walk, run, or bike along the trail, they can stop at each piece to do various exercises.
The project was paid for in part by the Michigan 4×4 Health and Wellness Plan and the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA.
“I think it adds another opportunity for people to be active,” said Stauffer. “It might make things interesting for people who are already walking and running to switch it up and work out some different muscles.”
Be Healthy Berrien is a countywide partnership of the Berrien County Health Department, Lakeland HealthCare, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA, Niles-Buchanan YMCA, and United Way of Southwest Michigan.
The aim of Be Healthy Berrien is to reduce obesity and chronic illness, and increase overall health and wellness in Berrien County through policy, systems, and environment change.
Signage mapping out the equipment along the nearly mile long stretch of trail way will be installed in the coming weeks. With the City of Niles, Niles Parks and Recreation Board, and the Niles-Buchanan YMCA, Be Healthy Berrien is planning a grand opening for the spring of 2014. Details for the event will be released as they become available. The Niles-Buchanan YMCA plans to host special events and classes using the equipment. Be Healthy Berrien plans to incorporate the Fitness Circuit into next year’s Million Mile Challenge. For more information about Be Healthy Berrien, visit www.BeHealthyBerrien.org or contact Jessica Stauffer, Jessica@behealthyberrien.org or (269) 982-1700 ext. 12.