The completion and opening of the site, which features seven different fitness stations, was celebrated with an official ribbon cutting ceremony on December 14th, 2021. The project is a culmination of two years planning, development and construction.
In response to the project completion, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “The partnership with Blythedale Children’s Hospital, leaders in health, was a seamless fit and I’m thrilled for park-goers to begin using the equipment and incorporate something new in their fitness regimen.”
Westchester County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor stated, “Parks play a major role in physical health and the addition of the fitness equipment at Tibbetts Brook Park will provide park-goers with an extra level of fitness to add to their routines.”
The new fitness park, designed for individuals aged 14 and up, is beautifully situated behind the pool complex overlooking Tibbetts Brook Lake. Tibbetts Brook Park is a 161-acre county park located in the Lincoln Park section of Yonkers in Westchester County, New York that gets more than 80,000 visitors each year.
“Collaborating with our community partners to promote good health really gets to the core of what the Health Department does and it is the reason that we are here today,” said Sherlita Amler, MD, Westchester County Commissioner of Health. “In support of our shared goal to encourage healthy behaviors, Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Eat Well, Be Well Community Wellness Program generously donated this state of the art, outdoor fitness equipment to the residents of Westchester County. I am certain that these new circuit-training machines will not only provide you with a comprehensive physical workout, but a mental health boost as well since you get to enjoy the fresh air and gorgeous views here at Tibbetts Brook Park.”
The new site is home to a rowing machine, a lower body combo station, a lat pull-down & vertical press station, back and arms station, and other equipment. Each station has a QR code that people can scan with their smartphones to access a video that showcases a variety of exercises that can be performed, the muscles being used and detailed instructions on how to utilize the equipment properly.
“We are honored and excited to help bring this project to fruition,” said Marie Roth, MA, RDN, Program Coordinator for Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Eat Well, Be Well Community Wellness Program. “Outdoor fitness parks can help bring people and communities together in safe and healthy ways, which is particularly important as we continue to navigate staying active during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this amenity and the opportunity to exercise in a natural, serene environment will encourage teens and adults alike to be active and spend more time in green spaces--both of which have been shown to boost physical and mental health.”
Blythedale Children’s Hospital and Kohl’s Eat Well, Be Well Community Wellness Program, develops and supports wellness programs and projects that align with Westchester County’s Prevention Agenda, which aside from Covid-19, is focused on tackling chronic disease and improving physical activity and nutrition-related outcomes.
The purchase and gifting of the fitness equipment totaling $21,640 was made possible by a generous grant from Kohl’s Department Stores and its Kohl’s Cares Program. Kohl’s has supported vitally important community projects and programs at Blythedale since 2000, donating nearly $3 million.
Site construction and equipment installation was coordinated among the Westchester County Department of Health, Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation and the Department of Public Works and funded by the county. Greenfields Outdoor Fitness, Inc., the California corporation and manufacturer of the equipment, also made a $10,000 donation towards the project.
“Blythedale Children’s Hospital is proud to facilitate the gift of this beautiful, free-to-use and always available fitness park,” said Larry Levine, President & CEO, Blythedale Children’s Hospital. “The health and well-being of our families and communities has always been a top priority. This project highlights the importance of collaboration and the need for a collective vision to address individual and population health challenges. We are so grateful to Westchester County for making this vision a reality for our community.”