NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Councilmember James Vacca, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and community members to cut the ribbon on an adult fitness area, fitness-oriented play equipment for kids, and a children’s nature walk at Pelham Bay Park.
The outdoor gym includes 13 pieces of exercise equipment, with six ADA-accessible pieces, allowing residents of all abilities to stay fit. Fitness-oriented play equipment has also been installed in the Playground for All Children. To connect children with nature, a wooden boardwalk has been built surrounding the seasonal pond within the playground, featuring two viewing areas. A new gravel path also stretches through meadow grasses and newly planted trees.
“We want all New Yorkers to lead a healthy lifestyle, not just those who can afford a gym membership,” said Commissioner Silver. “This fitness area gives the people of the Bronx a free, accessible way to stay healthy, combat obesity and even recover from an injury. Most importantly, much of the equipment is ADA-compatible, so New Yorkers of all abilities can stay in shape.”
“This new equipment is critical to the #Not62 campaign and our mission to create a healthier Bronx,” said Borough President Diaz Jr. “I am proud to have provided $200,000 in capital funding from my own budget to support its installation. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Silver and the Parks Department, and Council member Vacca for their partnership on this wonderful new amenity for Pelham Bay Park.”
"I’m excited that the new fitness equipment in Pelham Bay Park is ready for community use,” said Councilmember Vacca. “Adding this type of equipment to our parks has been one of my top funding priorities this year. Pelham Bay Park is the second park in my district to receive fitness equipment. I have funded fitness equipment in Bronx Park East and am looking forward to the completion of fitness equipment in Colucci Park. Many people do not have adequate access to gyms or exercise centers, which makes it hard for the public to stay healthy. These exercise stations are crucial in encouraging residents to work out and get in shape. I want to thank Commissioner Silver, Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa and the Parks Department for their commitment to this project.”
This $881,000 project was funded with $516,000 from Councilmember Vacca, $200,000 from Borough President Diaz Jr. and $95,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In developing this project, NYC Parks worked closely with the Friends of Pelham Bay Park, who played a major role in designing and advancing the pond walk and fitness area.
Located in the northwest Bronx, Pelham Bay Park is the largest park in New York City. A natural landscape of salt marsh, forest, meadow and rocky coast covers over half of its 2,772 acres. Other park amenities include two golf courses, a riding stable, miniature golf and driving range, historic house museum and Orchard Beach, the only public beach in the Bronx. Nearly 6 million people visit the park annually.