Workout in the park with outdoor fitness equipment

Posted May 13, 2015 in outdoor fitness, workout, fitness, outdoor fitness equipment, summer, Triactive America, Park and Recreation


This week has been such an exciting and rewarding week! The Outdoor Fitness Pad at Yanney Heritage Park was installed!

I simply had an idea. I shared my idea, and soon I had partners and supporters. I truly believe that sharing your dreams is the key to manifesting them!

Here's how this project came together...


In August 2012, the BF and I were in Kansas City celebrating our anniversary. We went for a run and ended up at Mill Creek Park near the Plaza. The park had a small hike and bike trail with outdoor fitness equipment scattered along the trail. There were tons of people using the equipment, and I was instantly inspired.

When we got home, I couldn't stop thinking about that park. I did a little research and wrote a proposal to pitch to the Park and Rec Board of Directors here in Kearney. They told me they liked my idea, but I needed to come up with the money to buy the equipment. I then started working with Park and Rec Director Scott Hayden to form a plan.

The Kearney Area Community Foundation began helping me with grant writing. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I would be figuring out how to write grants!

In the summer of 2013, Bryce Abbey, a kinesiology professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and I presented the outdoor fitness park idea to the Yanney Heritage Park Foundation Board of Directors. They were incredibly supportive of the idea and gave us approval to install the equipment at Yanney Park.

This was my dream location! It's such a beautiful park with perfect access to the hike and bike trail.

In November 2013, we got a $2,480 grant at the Kearney Area Community Foundation Celebration of Giving.

We also participated in the Kearney Area Community Foundation Give Where You Live Campaign in 2013 and 2014, and received some donations from community members.

In late 2014, we learned that the city budgeted a significant amount of funds for the fitness equipment!


In December, I revisited the fitness park in Kansas City while I was there with my family.

Things started moving quickly once we had the funding for the equipment. Scott requested information from companies that manufacture outdoor fitness equipment. Scott, Bryce and I read through all the information and picked a company - Triactive America. Then we picked out the equipment we wanted.


In April, the city poured the foundation.

And this week, the equipment was installed!


I got to help decide where to put all the fitness equipment. So I was basically standing around drinking coffee while these guys did all the heavy lifting.


We have eight pieces of equipment - plyo boxes, a pull up and dip station, a wheelchair accessible multi-gym, a double leg press, a double shoulder press, an air strider, a row machine and a step and twist machine.


The fitness pad features durable equipment, and will be open year-round (when weather permits), during park hours and will be free for the public to use.


As soon as there is grass, the row machine will have an incredible view of the lake.


Scott tested out the equipment after it was installed. Works perfectly!

I'm so thrilled that the park is finally open for the public. It makes fitness accessible to everyone, and encourages and promotes active lifestyles for the people in our community.

I'm also grateful for everyone who made this project happen - Scott Hayden, Bryce Abbey, Judi Sickler, the Kearney Area Community Foundation, the Yanney Park Foundation Board, Activate Buffalo County, Kearney Park and Recreation staff, everyone who supported the project through Give Where You Live and everyone who provided encouragement along the way.


This has been an incredible journey! We'll be having a ribbon cutting soon, so I'll make sure to share some photos from that event!

To stay updated on the Outdoor Fitness Pad at Yanney Park, check out the Facebook page!

Would you use outdoor fitness equipment that is located in a local park?

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