Preston park now has out­door fit­ness equip­ment

Times-Record - - News - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­record.com

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.”

PHOTO BY ABBY AN­DREWS

A rib­bon-cut­ting for new fit­ness and play­ground equip­ment at Preston’s James T. Wright Memo­rial Park was held Wed­nes­day, Sept. 6.

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