As of this week, residents of Baldwin Park have a new place to work out for free. The outdoor Fitness Zone officially opened at Morgan Park after a special ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.The designated workout area is located next to the basketball courts and features nine workout apparatuses.
The Fitness Zone was made possible through cooperative efforts between the City and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s office and funded through The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization.
“If it’s anything like the Fitness Zones we’ve seen, it’ll be operating all of the time,” said Molina at the ceremony. She went on to say that such green spaces play a vital role in community wellbeing.
This is the second fitness zone in Baldwin Park. The first was installed in 2010 at Hilda L. Solis Park through a grant by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefits Program. But it was as far back as 2007 that a “master plan” for building fitness zones was drafted, according to Monica Killen from the City’s Department of Recreation and Community Services. At Councilmember Marlen Garcia’s suggestion, the City approached Supervisor Molina’s office in an effort to fund a zone at Morgan Park. Morgan Park then became one of 12 Fitness Zones funded under The Trust for Public Land’s grant.
Other locations under the initiative for 2012 include three parks in the City of Rosemead, one in the City of Hawthorne, one in the City of San Fernando and six others in unincorporated LA County parks. In total, the Baldwin Park location is the 41st zone in LA County funded through The Trust for Public Land.
About 150 people were present at the ceremony, including the mayor, Councilwoman Garcia and a number of County and State officials, including a representative from the office of State Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina).
After the ribbon cutting, guests and children were invited to try out the equipment and they didn’t hold back their enthusiasm. Irma Garcia, who escorts seniors on a daily exercise program around the park said she will be incorporating the new Fitness Zone into their routine.
“I can now stop here and utilize all this equipment and just do a rotation with them,” Garcia said.
It’s likely that the Fitness Zone will get a lot of use, as Morgan Park is a “high usage” park, said Killen. When the City drafted its original “master plan” in 2007 it surveyed residents and people talked about having a place where they could work out, Killen said.
Residents agree that instillation of the Fitness Zone is a positive move in promoting more active and outdoor living. “It’s here - It’s free - It’s open to the public,” said Herminio Escalante, a 12-year resident of Baldwin Park. “This is a huge model of the city promoting health.”