Kresge's Detroit Program announced 25 projects across the city in the fifth and largest round of initiative which was first announced in 2014. These 25 were chosen from a pool of 163 applicants. Chandler Park Conservancy will develop a fitness zone at Chandler Park which features outdoor fitness equipment for residents of all ages.
Chandler Park Fitness Zone features outdoor stationary fitness equipment. The equipment will be for any of the over 65,000 annual visitors to Chandler Park however, programming will be primarily for the adult population. The fitness equipment has the potential to encourage physical activity and decrease health disparities amongst residents in the Chandler Park community. The easy-to-use outdoor gyms consist of durable, weather and vandal-resistant exercise equipment for strength training and aerobic exercise. The Fitness Zone would be a free service to this low income community and address a barrier of access to exercise equipment.
The Chandler Park Conservancy will develop programming for visitors to utilize the fitness equipment daily. Chandler Park Conservancy will partner with others to access to healthy foods and wellness and fitness programs for residents in the Chandler Park community, they will address health, healthy lifestyles and use Chandler Park as a “health hub”. The fitness zone would be a resource that would support that initiative.
Outdoor fitness zone provide benefits for both individuals and the local community. It would provide tools for aerobic exercise, strength building, balance, and core development. It would also provide an outlet for taking the initiative to get active and setting examples for other members in the neighborhood to develop a healthy lifestyle. Other benefits would include:
Providing a free social outlet for exercise, a much needed resource in underserved communities,
Combatting obesity through well-rounded workout opportunities that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities and fitness levels throughout the community.
Increasing interest in related community services, such as nutrition education and health screenings, and
Promote a sense of pride within neighborhood.
May 2019 - Chandler Park Conservancy Awarded Tony Hawk Foundation Skatepark Grant
The Tony Hawk Foundation has now helped to fund more than 600 skateparks across the U.S. And thanks to a partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, this latest round includes more than $1.5-million dollars to build free, public skateparks for youth in low-income communities.
The Built To Play Skatepark Program launched last Spring as a collaboration between the Tony Hawk Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. With access for youth to free-play spaces as one of its priorities, RCWJRF enlisted the help of THF to promote the construction of public skateparks in the sixteen counties it serves in Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The Built To Play Skatepark Program offers matching grants up to $250,000 to build public skateparks in the region.
Communities receiving Built To Play Skatepark Grants include Detroit, Ferndale, Ypsilanti, and Port Huron, Michigan, as well as Rochester and Amherst, New York. Each demonstrated broad community support for a public skatepark, and enlisted local skaters to participate in its development. This is a critical component of a successful skatepark, as the youth will be its primary users. “A skatepark isn’t just a place to go and skate for a couple hours,” said Jon Fulcher of the Alix Rice Peace Park in Amherst. “It is a place where young kids learn and define who they are. It is a cultural necessity to provide these facilities to the young kids of our region.”
There is an ongoing need to create spaces where kids can get outside and be physically active on their own terms,” said Jim Boyle, Vice President of Programs and Communications for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “When you combine that with the growing popularity of skateboarding and the convening expertise of the Tony Hawk Foundation, we see a tremendous opportunity to use these investments to create healthy and engaged communities.”
The Chandler Park Conservancy working with the City of Detroit are planning to design and construct a new skatepark at Chandler Park over the next two years. Donations can be made to the Chandler Park Conservancy.