From left: ANC 4B08 Alison Brooks, Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George, Rose Lassiter, Mayor Muriel Bowser, AARP CEO Joanne Jenkins, AARP- DC Volunteer State President Ronald Hampton, AARP-DC Director Louis Davis and Director of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation Delano Hunter attend the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the AARP/DPR FitLot at Lamond Recreation Center in northeast D.C. on Sept. 8. (WI photo)
From left: ANC 4B08 Alison Brooks, Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George, Rose Lassiter, Mayor Muriel Bowser, AARP CEO Joanne Jenkins, AARP- DC Volunteer State President Ronald Hampton, AARP-DC Director Louis Davis and Director of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation Delano Hunter attend the ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the AARP/DPR FitLot at Lamond Recreation Center in northeast D.C. on Sept. 8. (WI photo)

Ward 4 residents now have an additional community space to exercise and maintain their fitness goals. On Thursday, Sept. 8, AARP opened its latest fitness park in the District, in partnership with the nonprofit FitLot, as the organization hosted a ribbon cutting while Mayor Muriel Bowser helped to introduce neighborhood senior residents to the newly built space.

The outdoor park, located at the Lamond Recreation Center in Northeast, includes various workout machines giving the option of more than a dozen different types of exercises. 

Ward 4 Council member Janeese Lewis George shared sentiments of gratitude towards AARP for considering her represented community to house the workout equipment. 

“I want to send extra gratitude to JoAnn Jenkins for joining us yesterday,” she said. “How exciting to have the national CEO of AARP in our community. Thank you AARP DC and Louis Davis Jr. for choosing Ward 4 as the home for this generous donation.”

AARP has opened fitness parks across all 50 states to encourage exercise among senior citizens, now including residents of D.C. However, although neighborhood seniors are excited to use the equipment, some shared concerns about the protection needed for older residents to comfortably workout in the new outdoor space.

“The thing is that this might be a little intimidating [at first glance], especially if we are by ourselves. I came and looked [at it] but thought, I am not going to fall by myself,” said Gail Williams, a Ward 4 senior citizen and consistent visitor of the Lamond Recreation Center. “I think it is a valuable addition, plus they have exercise machines inside but when they are closed then you can come out here and do stuff.  [But] since they are going to have somebody to show us how to use these machines without falling, then yes, I will be game to come out. I know a few people who would [be open to] try it out as well.”

The Department of Parks and Recreation serves senior residents with a schedule of exercise classes to keep seniors engaged and active throughout the week. Starting Mondays and Wednesdays, the recreation center will host 45-minute morning fitness boot camp classes which will include guided tutorials on how to use the new equipment, with trained professionals overseeing seniors as they participate.

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