East Harlem Fitness Zone

East Harlem Fitness ZonePhoto credit: Tom Clark

We all strive to be healthy, but for many Americans finding a place to exercise can prove more of a challenge than the workout itself. That’s why The Trust for Public Land works with neighborhoods to install Fitness Zones—free outdoor fitness equipment in local parks—often in neighborhoods where gym memberships are too pricey to be practical. We teamed up with New York City’s public housing authority (NYCHA) and Mt. Sinai Hospital to install our very first Fitness Zone in New York City at NYCHA’s Carver Houses.

The residents shaped the design to meet their vision for a healthy, active community. And now the 2,648 residents at Carver House apartments, as well as thousands of people within a 10-minute walk of the Fitness Zone, will be able to get fit by hopping on the stationary bike, using the double chess press, or doing leg lifts, among other equipment. And with Mt. Sinai just around the corner, hospital health workers will offer public programming like weekly exercise classes and health consultations. East Harlem has some of the worst health outcomes in New York City, but this partnership between the hospital, public housing system and community has the potential to transform lives. Staying healthy is much easier with free outdoor exercise equipment right outside your door—and it’s a great way to connect with neighbors.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.