The Rotary Club of Downtown Ormond Beach is donating the fitness equipment and installation to the city, with the first phase to be completed by April 1.
Walking and running across the Granada Bridge is a morning routine for many Ormond Beach residents, and soon, the four corner parks will offer an added fitness amenity: exercise equipment.
Thanks to a partnership between the city of Ormond Beach and AdventHealth, the Rotary Club of Downtown Ormond Beach is constructing a Downtown Fit Loop that incorporates all four parks at the base of the bridge. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday, Feb. 5, to celebrate the beginning of the project's first phase at Fortunato Park, made possible largely by a $45,000 donation by AdventHealth.
“We feel that this project is something everybody in the community can benefit from," said Brandon Perry, president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Ormond Beach. "It doesn’t matter what age, what demographic — you know, anything. Anybody can come down here and use the facilities.”
The $180,000 project is split into four phases. This first phase at Fortunato is the biggest, Perry said, costing about $90,000.
The Downtown Fit Loop is the brainchild of Hal Gerow, who brought the discussion to the Rotary Club about three years ago, Perry said. Gerow died two years ago.
Perry said he hopes the Downtown Fit Loop becomes an area where families can exercise together.
“If the parents are using the equipment, the kids will have some play areas or even some little equipment of their own and it will all be shaded and covered from the sun, which of course we need here," Perry said.
Mayor Bill Partington said the activity around the four corner parks and the Granada Bridge are indicators of Ormond Beach being a "healthy vibrant community." He thanked the Rotary Club and AdventHealth for their partnership. The Downtown Fit Loop will be donated to the city.
“It takes dedicated, caring, concerned and committed residents to make this city work, and the reason Ormond Beach works so well it’s because we have all those," Partington said.
Fortunato Park is part of City Commissioner Dwight Selby's zone, and he said this was an example of people working together to improve health in the community.
“That’s just such a fantastic idea and concept, and as society ages, and as Florida attracts more and more retirees, health is so incredibly important," he said.
AdventHealth is excited about the project, said AdventHealth Daytona Beach President and CEO Ed Noseworthy. With its recent name and brand change, he said the nonprofit hospital system is focusing on taking care of residents in and out of the hospital. This is one way to do that.
“All of us here have things that make us feel whole," Noseworthy said. "And we want to make sure that you think about those things in such a way that you’re always feeling good about who you are and what you bring to this place, to your work, to your community.”
Equipment should arrive by mid-March and Perry said the Rotary Club aims to have it installed by April 1.