As part of a nationwide project, AARP New Hampshire worked with Manchester’s Parks and Recreation Department to open a fitness park in Derryfield Park. Over the next several years, AARP plans to sponsor a fitness park in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. FitLot, a national nonprofit, will construct over a dozen parks in 2019, which will include FitLotTM exercise equipment that can be adapted to meet a wide range of ages, fitness levels and abilities.
“Public spaces are essential to a vibrant community,” said AARP Regional Vice President Kelly Clark. “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.”
“These parks represent AARP’s commitment to supporting health and wellness opportunities in local communities all across the country,” continued Clark. “Healthy aging is one of AARP New Hampshire’s major priorities. In addition to opening this fitness park right here in Manchester, AARP is hosting a variety of fun events and educational activities in Greater Manchester and beyond. We encourage you to check out all we offer by visiting aarp.org/Manchester.”
The dedication ceremony included Kelly Clark; Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig; Manchester Parks & Recreation Department Chief Ron Pinard; Ward 2 Alderman Will Stewart: and FitLot’s Adam Mejerson. Nearly 100 AARP volunteers, members and community collaborators joined the celebration.
Manchester’s fitness park – the second park to open – includes 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. Other New England states opening fitness parks include Rhode Island (7/11/19), Maine (7/12/19), Vermont (5/20), Connecticut (5/20) and Massachusetts (8/20).
Last year, AARP New Hampshire awarded Manchester Connects a Community Challenge Grant to create a riverside gathering space in Arms Park. The Community Challenge Grant program is part of AARP’s Livable Communities initiative that helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. To find out more, visit aarp.org/livable.