Union Township introduces new outdoor fitness court at McDonald Park

What’s happening: A new open-air wellness center and fitness court can be found at McDonald Park, located on the south side of E. Pickard Road, just west of S. Lincoln Rd. near the Union Township administration building. Seven exercise stations allow users to leverage their own body weight to get a complete workout. The outdoor Fitness Court® was created with adults of all ages in mind and is adaptable for all fitness levels. 

How it works: The workouts can be done individually or in groups—with local volunteer ambassadors leading classes for groups. Individuals are encouraged to download the free Fitness Court App which transforms the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness ecosystem. They call it a “coach-in-your-pocket style platform.” 

What they’re saying: “I believe the Fitness Court is a fantastic addition to McDonald Park and I look forward to utilizing the fitness court on a regular basis,” says Amy Peak, who works nearby the Fitness Court as Charter Township of Union’s building services clerk. “I am so excited it’s finally here and can’t wait to incorporate it into my fitness routine!”

Who is involved: The Charter Township of Union partnered with the National Fitness Campaign and Priority Health to complete the Fitness Court®, with the goal of expanding free access to high-quality workouts and exercise in communities across Michigan. With 5,410 active users in 2022, it's estimated that over 33.8 million calories and 9,660 pounds are burned in one year on the Priority Health Fitness Court network. 

“At Priority Health, we believe all people have the right to a healthy life and that’s why we are committed to investing in the community to help reduce barriers to free, accessible fitness and improve wellness for the neighbors of Union Township,” says Praveen Thadani, president of Priority Health. “We are excited to partner with Union Township and the National Fitness Campaign to open this Priority Health Fitness Court as we continue to expand on this initiative across the state.”

Union Township also partnered with Art Reach of Mid Michigan for the artwork on the Fitness Court®. Earlier this year, Isabella County-based artists were invited to submit artwork for potential display. The artwork of Andrea Croft was ultimately selected, reflecting the unique local heritage of the community. 

Union Township’s new open-air wellness center and fitness court features artwork by Andrea Croft, a Michigan-based artist, illustrator, author, and graphic designer. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Nanney/Union Township)The upcoming ribbon cutting event: The Fitness Court® will officially be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at McDonald Park. Local fitness ambassadors from the community will be demonstrating the seven exercise stations. Representatives from the National Fitness Campaign and Priority Health will also be in attendance.
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Read more articles by Courtney Jerome.

With 15 years of professional media experience, Courtney Jerome has found a passion for storytelling and showcasing our region in a positive light. She's written stories for television broadcasts, numerous magazines, and digital publications. In addition, she owns a boutique creative marketing agency that focuses on social media, photo, and video storytelling for small businesses across Michigan and the country — courtneyjeromemedia.com. Contact Courtney, the managing editor of Epicenter, at editor@epicentermtpleasant.com.