Wooden fitness stations that suggest exercises for stretching, balance and upper body strength could be coming to a park in Naperville, but not to the Riverwalk.
A Naperville exercise physiologist pitched the idea of a fitness trail to Riverwalk commissioners, who this week decided it should go somewhere other than the popular downtown path.
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"I don't know if it's the best fit for the Riverwalk, especially on this main section where we have a lot of a people. It's more of a congregational space" people use to go for a stroll, said Jeff Havel, Riverwalk Commission chairman.
Fran Krumlauf, who brought forward the proposal for creating a fitness trail along the Riverwalk, suggested a system of 10 or 20 stations be spaced out along the 1.75-mile path. People could start jogging at one end and double back to the other, stopping at fitness stations along the way for a roughly 45-minute workout.
"It's like having an outdoor fitness center spread out," said Krumlauf, who runs Klass Konditioning in Naperville and is an adjunct faculty member in exercise science for North Central College and Benedictine University. "These 'fit trails' built within a community definitely enhance the community's health."
The system Krumlauf proposed would cost $6,000 plus shipping and installation for 10 fitness stations, or $9,000 plus shipping and installation for 20 stations, said Chuck Papanos, Naperville Park District park operations manager.
Papanos said Meadow Glens Park already offers fitness stations along a .6-mile trail built in 2013. Riverwalk Commission member Dave Kelsch said the park district could consider adding more locations so fitness stations could be available in different areas of the city.
Wil-O-Way Commons at 1071 W. Jefferson Ave. sits at the west end of the Riverwalk, so it could be one potential spot to add stations in a design Krumlauf called a cluster.
"It has to be installed in a place where people really want to use it," Riverwalk Commission member Dick Galitz said. "That's key and that's really park district business."
Krumlauf said she will continue pushing for fitness trail development even though her proposal of adding stations to the Riverwalk was denied. She offered to serve as project coordinator and raise the money needed to install the stations if park district officials approve the idea at a different site.
"Wherever they think it will fit, I will certainly be involved," Krumlauf said.