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Grantee Blog 2020

The Ringwood Fitness and Walking Track

Our beautiful community here in Ringwood was lucky enough to be chosen as a New Jersey Healthy Communities Network grantee. With this grant, we will be bringing a fitness walking track to the Hewitt School field on Sloatsburg Road along with other health initiatives to our community.  Currently, Hewitt School boasts a baseball/softball diamond, a large grass field used primarily for soccer and lacrosse, a playground, and even an outdoor hockey rink on the far end of the property.  The walking track, totaling between a quarter and a half mile, will travel the circumference of the baseball/softball diamond, athletic field, and playground.

As Recreation Director, my role in this project is to choose the outdoor fitness equipment to be installed at certain markers on the track. Including this equipment allows for the additional benefit of circuit training.  My first consideration was who would be using the track.  The Hewitt location is currently used primarily by the 4th and 5th grade students attending the school, children in recreation programs, and their families.

My next consideration was choosing equipment that could be used by diverse populations. We want this track and equipment to be open to children, adults, those with special needs and senior citizens.  Outdoor fitness equipment is not cheap so choosing equipment that can be used by multiple people at once is very important to make the most out of our grant money.  I also considered crowding.  No one wants to interrupt their fitness session by waiting for a machine to free up.

The following pieces of equipment are examples that satisfy these considerations- a two person wheelchair accessible chest press, a four person pendulum with abs and dip station, and a two person tai-chi spinner. They can be used by multiple populations, thus increasing the inclusivity of the project.  They can also be used by more than one person at a time, thus avoiding long lines.

I could not conceptualize this project myself so it was now time to get input from other key people involved in the planning. I met at the location with the Hewitt School Physical Education teacher and the Supervisor of Public Works.  The school will have the opportunity to utilize the equipment during gym classes and the DPW will be in charge of clearing the property and installing the material.  The three of us met in February to measure out where the track would be installed and consider different locations for the fitness equipment.  We came away from the meeting with a strong vision of the track.  Take a look at the site photo- we’re excited to turn it into a before photo!

I’m excited for the next step and the installation of the track. Now more than ever, our community is in need of healthy outdoor activities.  I can’t wait to use the track myself!  This work is supported by funding from Atlantic Health System as part of the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network.

About the Grantee

Borough of Ringwood

The Borough of Ringwood is a municipality located in Passaic County. The Borough provides services to the community of Ringwood.