New Wonch Park Fitness Zone invites residents to power up and get fit

Twelve pieces of freestanding fitness equipment in a centrally located park in Meridian Township will provide countless opportunities for residents to improve their health and fitness in a outdoor community setting.
Completed in mid-July 2016, the Wonch Park Fitness Zone near downtown Okemos consists of equipment for strengthening and toning the upper body, lower body, core and cardiovascular system. The equipment is located along the paved loop pathway that was completed in August 2015 and funded through a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant.
"We barely removed the wrappers on the new equipment before people were already using it," says Meridian Township Director of Parks and Recreation LuAnn Maisner. "It's not only great for exercise, it's a lot of fun and we are thrilled with the results."
The Wonch Park Fitness Zone was funded through a $17,680 Go Greenfield grant from Greenfields Outdoor Fitness as well as $35,110 in matching funds. The goal of Greenfields Outdoor is to promote wellness and fight obesity one community at a time, and aligns with the overall mission of township parks to provide diverse facilities and recreation opportunities that enhance quality of life.
Maisner said the fitness area is among the first of its type in Meridian Township. She says the accessible equipment brings a social, multi-generational element to public spaces and is suitable for use by teenagers to seniors.
"An open grassy area next to the equipment would also ideal for group yoga, Zumba or other fitness programs," she says.
The 15-acre Wonch Park is the oldest in the Meridian Township park system and was acquired in 1969 from Theodore Wonch. The park is located a couple blocks from downtown Okemos at 4555 Okemos Road, and is nestled in a bend along the banks of the Red Cedar River. The park features a playground structure, sand volleyball courts, walking trails, a new pedestrian bridge and a new pavilion constructed in 2016.
For more information on the various improvements to the park, visit the Meridian Township website here.
Source: LuAnn Maisner, Director of Parks and Recreation, Meridian Township
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

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