Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District: Connecting People, Parks and Nature: District debuts array of outdoor fitness stations at Vista Brook Park

by Bill Evans13 Outdoor fitness Vista Brook - 12-18-17

Working in the field for THPRD Park Maintenance, Mike Cero often notices park visitors using any apparatus they can find – soccer goals, park benches, play equipment and more – to assist their individual workout regimen.

“Push-ups, pull-ups, box jumps,” he said, listing just a few of the exercises he sees people doing. He recognized a need for outdoor fitness facilities that would aid park visitors without taking a toll on THPRD equipment designed for other purposes.

He followed through on it, and as a result, seven fitness stations were installed in recent months around Vista Brook Park’s open lawn: a row machine, squat press, pull-up/dip bar, leg press, chest press/pull, sit up board and back extension. An eighth piece will offer specific exercises for people in wheelchairs.

Vista Brook Park is located at 6697 SW 88th Avenue in the Garden Home area, conveniently adjacent to the Fanno Creek Trail.

Recalling how the process began, Cero said, “I asked Jon Campbell (Maintenance superintendent) about the likelihood of installing some outdoor fitness equipment. He liked the idea and thought it would make a good business plan.”

He used data from the district’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan to identify sites where there might be a need for new recreational assets. “Vista Brook Park scored out just perfectly, right in the sweet spot,” Cero said.

THPRD program staff helped research equipment, which was purchased from Triactive America Inc. through local distributor Buell Recreation.

By the time the business plan was completed and approved, and the installation was underway, about 15 staff members had participated in the process.

“I’m proud of the internal collaboration that went into this,” he said. “The project centered on a few key elements that I believe represent our values as an organization – creative problem-solving, community participation and accessibility/inclusion.”

Ideally, Cero said, this could be the first of many outdoor fitness stations at THPRD parks.

“It’s a pilot program, and I hope it plays out as well as we have hoped,” he said. “The feedback we’ve gotten has been positive, people are excited. Now, we’ll track usage, gather feedback and hopefully bring more opportunities like this to the district.”