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Ocean City

Saturday ceremony celebrates new outdoor facility

(April 5, 2013) The new outdoor exercise and fitness area at Northside Park on 127th Street will officially be unveiled during a grand-opening event and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.

West Recreation of Queenstown, Md. began building the bayside fitness area in late fall, and it was completed in November 2012, according to Tom Shuster, director of the Ocean City Recreation and Parks Department. A $119,000 grant awarded to the town in June by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Community Parks & Playgrounds Program funded the project.

“We wanted to wait until the weather was nicer to introduce people to the facility,” Shuster said. “From the time the equipment was first put in, people have been out there trying it. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback.”

The exercise equipment, manufactured by TriActive America, is covered by a blue fabric shade structure to provide protection from the elements. The nine pieces of equipment include an elliptical cross trainer, pull-up and dip station, double leg press, seated lat pull, sit-up board, Air Walker, back extension, rowing machine and seated chest press.

“They’re comparable to the kinds of equipment in a public indoor gym or private health club,” Shuster said. “The equipment uti-lizes all different muscle groups of the body. Most are based on body resistance weight.”

A large pad provides a surface for stretching and floor exercises, and is large enough for small classes. The fitness area will be open year round. There is no cost to use the equipment.

“It’s an additional enhancement to the park, which is already used by a lot of people,” Shuster said. “We know by current usage that people come to the park to do various kinds of activities.”

Shuster said the outdoor exercise and fitness area was constructed next to the park’s recently renovated ADA-accessible playground so adults can keep an eye on their little ones while they use the equipment.

The recreation and parks department has an initiative to improve community health and wellness. “Get Active. Be Healthy. Have Fun!” is the slogan of the initiative. The objective is to enhance and expand its programs and facilities to encourage physical activity and promote healthy lifestyles, while having fun.

Saturday’s grand-opening festivities will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a Family Fun Walk, sponsored by the Worcester County Health Department. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 11 a.m, followed by equipment and class demonstrations.

There will also be music and opportunities to win prizes.

For more information about the outdoor exercise and fitness area or recreation department programs, leagues and events, call Ocean City Recreation and Parks at 410-250-0125.

Testing out the equipment in the new outdoor exercise and fitness area at Northside Park on 127th Street, from left, are Trae Pinto, Ocean City Recreation and Parks facility monitor; Craig Southard, facility supervisor, and recreation supervisors Chris Clarke and Lynda Brittingham.

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