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Highland Oaks Park to officially dedicate a new Fitness Zone area

The “fee free” outdoor gym is part of Miami-Dade Parks’ ongoing “healthy-living” initiative to help residents play their way to fitness; delivering fitness outside the box.

MIAMI (February 25, 2016)

Everyone knows that regular exercise can help keep the body fit and energized, however time-pressed and money-stressed are often the reasons that workouts get left by the wayside.  The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department in its ongoing “healthy living” initiative to encourage residents to stay physically active through a variety of fun, convenient and affordable parks and recreation activities, has installed 21 “fee free” outdoor gyms at its parks since July 2012.  They are set to officially dedicate a new “Fitness Zone ®” outdoor gym at Highland Oaks Park, 20300 NE 24th Ave., Miami, as the result of an ongoing collaboration with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) Fitness Zone ® program.

The dedication for the new Fitness Zone ® at Highland Oaks Park will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2016.  The day’s activities will include a ribbon-cutting with representatives from Miami-Dade Parks, the Office of Miami-Dade County District 4 Commissioner Sally A. Heyman and The Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone ® program; followed by demonstrations on how to use the gym equipment, given by Miami-Dade Parks Health & Wellness staff.  The demonstrations will show residents how easy it is to include a fitness regimen in their daily routine.

“I am pleased to see this new outdoor gym at Highland Oaks Park. Miami-Dade County is serious about improving its parks to help residents get healthier. Thanks to the Parks Department and their long-time collaboration with The Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone ®  program, we are building sustainable solutions for a better quality-of-life in our community,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez)

“This new Fitness Zone ® is going to revitalize Highland Oaks Park and will have a positive impact on the health all of the people that use these facilities,” said Commissioner Heyman. “I encourage everyone to use this new equipment and take advantage of the other exercise opportunities at this park.”

“Research shows that parks—and The Trust for Public Land's Fitness Zone ® areas in particular—directly improve our health and wellness.  Installing free outdoor fitness equipment in neighborhoods where gym memberships are too pricey to be practical empowers communities in the fight against obesity,” said Brenda McClymonds, The Trust for Public Land’s senior program director. 

“Miami-Dade Parks prides itself in providing fitness activities that are as diverse as the culture of Miami, from kayaking, wakeboarding and swimming lessons to tennis, golf and mountain biking.  By adding fun recreation options like the Fitness Zone ® at Highland Oaks Park and other outdoor gym stations at parks throughout Miami-Dade, we are inspiring people with more great ways to surround themselves with nature and be active,” said Jack Kardys.

The new ADA-accessible Fitness Zone ® consists of 14 pieces of exercise equipment anchored on a concrete pad. Nearby shaded benches provide a place to rest after exercise.  The exercise stations are designed for cardio and strength training for people ages 14 and over, and accommodate wheelchair workouts. The equipment uses the body’s weight for resistance, so there are no weights to drop or lose.  They also come with instructional signs. 

Featured are several two-person exercise stations, such as the “Push Up”, “Chin Up”, “Leg Press”, “Chest Press”, “Lat Pull Down”, “Vertical Press”, and “Elliptical Trainer”.  There is also a “Leg Extension”, a “Balance Board”, a “Captain’s Chair”; and hand, recumbent and upright cycles. 

The project was completed by Miami-Dade Parks Design and Build Team, working with construction contractor DW Recreational Services.

The cost to build the new Fitness Zone ® was $102, 500. Funds were provided by the Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond Program (BBC-GOB); the Quality Neighborhood Improvement Program (QNIP); and the Trust for Public Land (TPL). 

Miami-Dade Parks will also officially dedicate two more Fitness Zone ® areas in March:  Lake Stevens Park (March 12 at 11 a.m.) and Cherry Grove Park (March 19 at 11 a.m.).  Similar fitness courts are also planned for Tree Island Park, Eden Lakes Park, Lago Mar Park, and Wild Lime Park.     

The 39-acre Highland Oaks Park also has a lake, lighted pathways and parking, a recreation building, ball fields, a vita course, and a sand volleyball court. For direction to the park visit the web page or call 305-932-2164.

Miami-Dade Parks is a world-class parks system supported by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness, and Conservation and Stewardship.