New Ulm Park and Rec eyes ‘Fitness in the Park’

Tom Hoban, Randy Becker, Laura Schotzko, and Susie Hoban (L-R) enjoy staying active with a round of Pickleball at Lincoln Park. New Ulm Park and Rec is looking to host a free adult fitness in the park program this summer, as long as they receive grant funding.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Park and Rec wants to start a new free program this summer, and is looking for the funds to do it.

The Park and Rec Commission approved a request for staff to apply for an Allina Health Charitable Contribution Grant. The $1,300 grant would cover costs related to staffing, advertising, and equipment.

The program, tentatively titled “Fitness in the Park”, would focus on ways to stay active for adults in New Ulm. Park and Rec Director Joey Schugel said the activities would take place in various parks across the city.

“If funded it would allow us to offer free fitness programming in parts for this summer,” he said. “It would be a variety. Staff has not planned the exact details but the idea would be to offer yoga in the park, maybe a more high intensity class, maybe a child-adult class. A variety of things. Probably weekly or bi weekly throughout the summer.”

Schugel said the program is contingent on receiving this funding. He said he is confident the program would be successful based on previous similar programs.

“There has been free fitness programs in the past with similar grants like this,” he said. “They have been very popular, so we wanted to look at bringing this back.”

Though Park and Rec offers a variety of programming, most of it has some type of cost attached to it. With free programs like this, Schugel hopes to knock down barriers to being active in their area.

“A program like this can knock down some barriers of cost and location for people,” he said. “Maybe it’s in their neighborhood park or a community park that’s close for them. The transportations not an issue, and it’s an opportunity to get outdoors in our nice months. “Maybe try something new that you haven’t tried.”

While there are no definite dates, Schugel said they would look to start the program as soon as funding is approved.

Commissioner Kurt Johnson made the motion to apply for an Allina Health Charitable Contribution Grant. Commissioner Jim Jensen seconded the motion.


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