As a part of a nationwide project, AARP Louisiana worked with the city of New Orleans local Parks and Recreation department to open an outdoor fitness park designed for people of all ages. Denise Bottcher, AARP Louisiana State Director; Larry Barabino, Jr., NORD CEO; and Teri Guerin, Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, welcomed community members to the new park during a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
The event featured healthy food, giveaways, and equipment demonstrations for the community. AARP plans to sponsor outdoor fitness parks in every state, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to commemorate its 60th anniversary. AARP is working with national nonprofit, FitLot, who will construct over a dozen outdoor fitness parks in 2019.
“This is something we really needed. We don’t have a whole lot out here in New Orleans East, and we are so happy that someone cared. Thanks AARP,” said Janice Boyd, who resides in a neighborhood located directly behind the park.
The outdoor fitness park is located in Joe W. Brown Park and includes FitLot™ exercise equipment designed to be adaptable to meet a wide range of fitness levels and abilities. The parks include ample floor space for group exercises and users can attach resistance bands to the upright beams of the structure at ankle, waist and shoulder height for more varied routines.
Public spaces are essential to a vibrant community. It’s no surprise that a recent AARP survey found that safe parks are among the top three community features people want in their neighborhoods. Some of the benefits outlined in AARP’s Creating Parks and Public Spaces for People of All Ages: A Step-by-Step Guide, include:
- Improved physical and mental health.
- Enhanced community connections.
- Added economic value and cost saving benefits.
Healthy aging is one of AARP Louisiana’s major priorities. In addition to the opening of the first AARP sponsored outdoor fitness park in New Orleans, AARP Louisiana plans to host programming around healthy living. For more information visit aarp.org/la.