Preston park now has outdoor fitness equipment
PRESTON — A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Preston’s James T. Wright Memorial Park, officially dedicating the new fitness equipment installed along the park’s paved walking path.
The eight stations along the exercise course include a cardio walker, shoulder rotator, elliptical hand cycle, recumbent cycle, chest press, leg press and captain’s chair, with printed instructions for use on each.
In addition, three new pieces of equipment were installed at the park’s playground: Challenge rings, a space loop climb and a rockscape arch.
All of the equipment was purchased and installed thanks to an $89,400 grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Community Parks and Playground Program.
Town commissioners Kathleen Barry and Gary Waltemeyer, Parks and Recreation Committee member Bob Lorenz and Public Works Superintendent Dale Whitley were recognized for their work writing and submitting the application.
Barry said Waltemeyer found the grant application in the town office eight days before it was due.
Grant funding is for restoring existing areas and features. Barry felt it was a good time to upgrade the playground equipment, and install new fitness equipment in the park, which opened in 1998.
Lorenz and Whitley lent their expertise in writing the application, Barry said.
She also got help from Carrie Lhotsky, local lead for the Community Parks and Playground Program at DNR, who, Barry said, recommended the town ask for “the whole house” in its grant application.
“We didn’t get the whole house this time, but we got the bathroom and the kitchen, and that’s good,” Barry said, adding Town Manager Stacey Pindell recently applied for more grants to provide further enhancements in the park.
Barry said research shows the value of the fitness set-up now available to all park patrons.
Preston Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Dawn Malosh said she regularly brings her dog to the park, and she has already seen people using the new equipment.
“To see people enjoying it every day, that’s the reward,” Malosh said.
State Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37, said she first saw outdoor fitness equipment in Turkey many years ago, and thought it would be a great thing in the U.S.
“When we provide this kind of outdoor exercise, it’s more accessible,” Eckardt said.
Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B, said he was there to congratulate the town, and Del. Chris Adams, R37B, said he was pleased to see Gov. Larry Hogan funding projects like the one in the park on the Eastern Shore.
“It means so much to the rural parts of the state,” Adams said.
Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood said he grew up in the county, when the closest thing to a park was the Lions Club’s baseball field.
“Today, we have facilities like this one for families to enjoy,” Levengood said.
Daryl Anthony, assistant secretary for DNR, said he was there to represent Hogan, who fully funded DNR’s Project Open Space, which in turn funds the Community Parks and Playgrounds Program, making projects like the one in Preston’s park possible.
Anthony said he grew up playing in parks like Preston’s, and he was fortunate to be able to make a career out of managing them.
“Seeing the development of places like this, for the public to enjoy, makes me feel like I’m doing something good,” Anthony said. “You should all be proud of what you’ve achieved here.”
A ribbon-cutting for new fitness and playground equipment at Preston’s James T. Wright Memorial Park was held Wednesday, Sept. 6.