Fitness Park idea shaping up in Warren

A number of local businesses are planning to build an outdoor fitness park at a location that is yet to be determined.

Heidi Ekey, a human resources specialist at Whirley-DrinkWorks!, said, ” We are working with the Parks and Recreation Commission (Mary Ann Nau) to help identify the best location for the park, but we do intend to use an existing city park. Our focus is on Clemons, but there will be several more discussions before we can say for sure.”

Additionally, park organizers are kicking off a naming contest for the new park through 8 a.m. Monday, June 10. To submit a name or vote, ‘like’ the page at www.facebook.com/warrenpafitnesspark or vote on the page’s wall. Submissions may also be mailed to Heidi Ekey, Whirley DrinkWorks!, 618 Fourth Ave., Warren Pa. 16365. The winner of the contest will receive an outdoor fitness park prize pack.

Completion of the park is set for Saturday, Oct. 26 which intentionally coincides with Make A Difference Day. According to Ekey, “The name should reflect the purpose of the national day of service and the mission of the park, which is to bring neighbors, co-workers and service organizations together for opportunities to improve the physical and environmental sustainability of the Warren community.”

She said, “It will be open to the public and, of course, there will be no cost to use the park. We are doing this as a community service and with community involvement. We are looking at ways to provide the park with some privacy landscaping so those taking advantage of the equipment can do so with some level of privacy. It is important to note that it will be ADA compliant or better. We want to make sure people of all fitness levels and abilities are able to use the park. We intend to use as much recycled material as we can as well.”

“We found one fitness park in Europe that turns users’ workout energy into power for the lights in the park,” she said. “That is an ambitious dream, and not one we are entertaining at this point, but there are many other ways to do this with the environment in mind, too.”

“Besides employees at Whirley-DrinkWorks! we also have employees from Northwest Savings Bank, United Refining Company, Betts, Superior Tire, McKissock and Blair who have been helping to plan the project,” she added.

Volunteers interested in participating throughout the process may do so through Facebook or in writing.