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Ribbon-cutting for new "Fitness Zone" area at International Gardens Park set for Saturday, April 9 at 11 a.m.

The "fee free" easy-to-use outdoor gym is part of Miami-Dade Parks' ongoing "healthy-living" initiative to help residents be active and fit.

MIAMI (March 30, 2016)

Fresh air, beautiful scenery and open space linked with state-of-the-art outdoor gym equipment, make the new “Fitness Zone ®” area at International Gardens Park, 12321 SW 18th Terrace, Miami, a unique fitness experience that feels more like being on an adult-size playground than exercising, and is absolutely free to use. The fully-ADA accessible exercise area features 14 pieces of easy-to-use, low-impact gym equipment designed for cardio and strength training and wheelchair workouts. The new park amenity is the result of the Miami-Dade Park Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s advancing “healthy living” initiative to create fun, accessible and affordable recreation opportunities for residents and the Parks Department’s ongoing collaboration with The Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone ® program.  

With obesity, the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. and one in four Floridians classified as obese, the “fee free” outdoor gyms are intended to help adults and teens of all abilities to be active and break the obesity cycle. The equipment uses the body’s weight for resistance, so there are no weights to drop or lose. Each piece of equipment comes with an illustrated instructional sticker that explains in detail how to use it. 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.

On Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 11 a.m., International Gardens Park will officially dedicate its new Fitness Zone ® area.  Activities will include a ribbon-cutting with representatives from Miami-Dade Parks, the Office of Miami-Dade County District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata and The Trust for Public Land’s 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 thankful to the Parks Department and their long-time collaboration with the Trust for Public Land Fitness Zone ® program for making the new Fitness Zone ® area at International Gardens Park a reality. These unique outdoor gyms are part of a larger county-wide vision to improve the health and fitness of residents,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. 

“This new Fitness Zone ® area at International Gardens Park is a welcome addition to this park and will enhance neighborhood livability, ”” said Commissioner Zapata.  ““Amenities like this provide new ways to stay fit, meet neighbors and relax with nature. ”

“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. 

“Fitness Zone ® areas, like the one at International Gardens Park, are a great addition to the numerous fitness and recreational opportunities at that we offer at parks across the county. Our goal is to inspire people to make fitness part of their daily routine, to stem off heart disease, obesity and other ailments associated with a sedentary lifestyle,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys. 

The cost to build the new Fitness Zone ® area was approximately $102,900. Funds were provided by Impact Fees and The Trust for Public Land, with a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida. Miami-Dade Parks’ Design and Build Team completed the project, working with construction contractor DW Recreational Services.

Miami-Dade Parks has installed 21 “fee free” outdoor gyms at its parks since July 2012.  In March, the Parks Department also installed Fitness Zone® areas at Highland Oaks Park, Lake Stevens Park and Cherry Grove Park.  Similar fitness courts are also planned for Tree Island Park, Eden Lakes Park, Lago Mar Park, and Wild Lime Park.     

The 5.26-acre International Gardens Park also has a baseball field, a children’s playground and a picnic shelter. For directions to the park visit the web page and call 305-222-2194 (Ruben Dario Park).

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.