(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department in partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the West Perrine Community Redevelopment Agency have enhanced a West Perrine community with the joint installation of a new outdoor Fitness Zone at West Perrine Park, as part of a larger initiative to make fitness fun, convenient and affordable throughout Miami-Dade County. The unveiling will take place during the dedication ceremony of the Fitness Zone, which will include the participation of special guest speakers Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, District 9 Commissioner Dennis Moss, and representatives from Miami-Dade Parks, The Trust for Public Land, and the West Perrine Community Redevelopment Agency. The dedication will take place on July 18 at 10:00 a.m. at West Perrine Park, located at 17120 SW 104 Avenue in Miami.
The day's activities will include a ribbon-cutting followed by demonstrations given by Miami-Dade Parks Wellness & Fitness Coordinator Shawn Ramirez on how to properly use the equipment in order to get a healthy workout that will help seniors, adults and teenage kids become physically fit. Miami Dolphins players and alumni, and West Perrine Park's "Fit-to-Play" Summer Camp participants will join in the demonstrations to emphasize how important it is for residents of all ages to include a fitness regimen in their daily routine to stem off heart disease, obesity and other ailments, as well to live an overall healthy lifestyle.
"Leveraging our parks to create a healthier Miami-Dade County is an initiative that I'm very excited about," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "We are serious about improving quality-of-life in our community, and our new Fitness Zones are one illustration of how Miami-Dade County parks are benefiting residents of all ages - from infants to seniors."
Fitness Zones are comprised of a cluster of exercise equipment permanently placed in a select area of a park designed for exercise. In total, Miami-Dade Parks Fitness Zones will be installed at 10 parks, four of which will be accessible by the public in July at West Perrine Park, A.D. Barnes Park, Jefferson Reaves Sr. Park, and South Dade Park. Future installations are planned for Gwen Cherry Park, Leisure Lakes Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, Oak Grove Park, Olinda Park, and Tree Island Park.
"When it comes to health and fitness, no community in this County should be disadvantaged," said Commissioner Moss. "I am proud of the partnership between Miami-Dade Parks and The Trust for Public Land, because it is empowering West Perrine and residents countywide to improve their health."
West Perrine Park's Fitness Zone was funded in part through the generosity of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the nation's leading organization for building parks in cities across the country and creating local funds for conservation. In a unique "Partnership for Fitness," TPL has partnered with the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department to fund the West Perrine project and three other zones under development.
"With one in four Floridians classified as obese and at risk for heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression, the time is now to take action for prevention," said Brenda McClymonds, TPL's senior program director. "The Trust for Public Land is proud to partner with the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department to create more opportunities for physical activity by outfitting neighborhood parks with Fitness Zones, because they are consistently developing programming and parks designed to improve the health of South Florida residents. Their passion for the health and well being of park users and residents is tangible, and it's having a positive impact."
Once completed, the 10 new zones will compliment Miami-Dade Parks' other fitness oriented amenities located at 10 other parks throughout the County, including vita courses, which are exercise trails with fitness/exercise elements along a pathway that can also be used for walking, running or skating.
Miami-Dade Parks' "Partnerships for Fitness" program also includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a partner. Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) is a locally driven CDC initiative supporting 50 communities, including Miami-Dade County, to promote physical activity and tackle obesity-a leading preventable cause of death and disability in the United States. CPPW is helping to fund four of the 10 planned Fitness Zones throughout the Miami-Dade Parks system, including those at A.D. Barnes Park, Gwen Cherry Park, Jefferson Reaves Sr. Park, and South Dade Park.
"There are plenty of distractions and obstacles preventing people from exercising, whether it's too much passive entertainment like watching television or being unable to afford a gym membership or thinking exercise is too difficult," said Miami-Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys. "At Miami-Dade Parks we're striving to change attitudes and behavior by making fitness fun and convenient for all residents, and installing what are essentially free outdoor gyms at our parks is just one way that we're achieving our goal. It's another way of inviting residents to "Live A Parklife," which is a lifestyle that includes outdoor recreation for fitness and good health."
In an industry traditionally known for its playgrounds and ball fields, Miami-Dade Parks has taken the industry's "best-business" practices to a higher level. It is raising the bar by offering a wide variety of expertly and professionally led physical activities for the public to engage in, additional to Fitness Zones and vita courses, that not only improve one's health, but teach a new sport, exercise or recreational activity that can be enjoyed from childhood through adulthood. Some activities incorporate nature exploration and are considered adventure sports, providing the added elements of excitement and surprise to a workout, making it seem more like an outing than exercise.
Miami-Dade Parks' options for fitness activities are as diverse as the culture of Miami, all with the intent of making fitness fun and accessible for people of all ages and abilities, and include the following choices:
- *Kayaking, Canoeing, Cycling, and Snorkeling Nature Expeditions - With Miami-Dade Parks' EcoAdventures™ Tours at various Miami-Dade County parks, including Crandon Park Beach, and Miami-Dade Parks partner Everglades National Park.
- Fitness Boot Camps - Various parks, including Tropical Park.
- Fit-to-Play Summer Camps & After-School Programs - More than 40 parks.
- *Stand Up Paddleboarding - Traditional and Yoga at Matheson Hammock Park.
- Pilates and Yoga - At Miami-Dade Parks' Deering Estate at Cutler.
- *Wakeboarding - Amelia Earhart Park.
- *Tennis Lessons, Tournaments and Camps - At Miami-Dade Parks' Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open.
- *Mountain Biking - Amelia Earhart Park's mountain biking nature trails.
- *Skateboarding - At Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, Westwind Lakes Park, Country Village Park, and South Dade Park.
- *Scuba Diving - Crandon Park Marina and Bill Bird Marina at Haulover Beach Park.
- Youth Sports Leagues - Cheerleading, basketball, soccer, football, and baseball at various parks.
- Swimming & Learn-to-Swim Program - Various pools at parks throughout the County.
- Recreation for Children & Adults with Disabilities - Inclusion and exclusive programs, including goal ball, swimming, wheelchair tennis and basketball led by certified therapeutic recreation specialists.
*These activities offer the provision of all necessary gear and equipment, in addition to expert instruction (e.g. Mountain bikes are also available for rent at Amelia Earhart Park; kayaks and canoes are free with EcoAdventures™).
By making recreation options available that offer diversity, fun and the convenience of being affordable and centrally located in open regional and neighborhood park spaces throughout the County, Miami-Dade Parks has given the South Florida public every incentive to think outside the proverbial box, when it comes to getting fit, and a myriad of opportunities to create a customized exercise program that they can truly enjoy and derive multiple benefits from. Miami-Dade Parks proudly declares, "The days of sweating in the garage lifting weights or the monotony of running in place on a treadmill in a boxed gym for hours are over! It's time to make fitness fun! It's time to Live A Parklife @ Miami-Dade Parks."
The mission of the Miami-Dade Parks master plan, published in 2007 and currently being implemented throughout the County, is to connect people and parks for life through park and facility development, recreation programs and activities, and environmental conservation. The effort also includes an awareness marketing campaign, driven by the Department's call-to-action to the Miami-Dade County community, soliciting it to "Live A Parklife" by visiting its more than 200 parks and taking advantage of the diverse assortment of fitness activities, programs, events, and facilities it offers daily and year round, in addition to its attractions and other amenities.
The public should contact West Perrine Park for more information about its July 18 Fitness Zone dedication event featuring the Miami Dolphins or its other offerings at (305) 235-2053. For more information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1 or visit Miami-Dade Parks.
About The Trust for Public Land:
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is the nation's leading organization for building parks in cities across the country, and in creating local funds for conservation. It believes that good parks make good neighbors: a community with green space is a happier and more attractive place to live, fostering a sense of community, and a place to get outside and exercise, especially in neighborhoods where access to fitness facilities is limited. Since its founding in 1972, it has completed more than 5,200 projects, and protected more than 3 million acres across the country. It depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. For information visit TPL.
About The West Perrine Community Redevelopment Agency:
The West Perrine Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) promotes an urban initiative to stimulate and guide the redevelopment of the West Perrine area and to create a better neighborhood to live, work and play. The West Perrine CRA was formed by Miami-Dade County on June 5, 2007, when the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) adopted a resolution approving a Community Redevelopment Plan and Ordinance establishing the West Perrine CRA Trust Fund. Upon creation of the CRA, the BCC appointed itself as the CRA Board of Commissioners. The goal of the CRA is to provide immediate relief to any unsafe or unsanitary conditions in the CRA Area in order to create a positive image for the community and to attract investment. For information visit West Perrine CRA.
About the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world. Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about Miami-Dade Parks call 3-1-1, or visit Miami-Dade Parks.
Miami-Dade Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors. Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.
Monies raised through membership and fundraising efforts help fund: scholarships for disadvantaged children to attend after-school and summer camp programs; recreational and community programs, such as disability services and health and wellness initiatives for people of all ages; and Parks Open Space Master Plan initiatives, such as the development of trailways, bikeways and safe access to parks and open spaces throughout Miami. For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.
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