By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
From Conneaut Avenue, it almost looks like a new playground. But there are no slides, no swings, no climbing structures.
This is a different kind of playground – one made for adults who want an extra challenge as they walk, run or bicycle past.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, Wood County Hospital and the City of Bowling Green officially dedicated the fitness trail and exercise station. The trail, which runs through hospital property, connects Simpson Garden Park and Conneaut sledding hill. The exercise equipment is located in the empty lot along Conneaut Avenue, just north of the hospital’s rehabilitation center.
Representatives of the hospital, chamber and city parks talked about how teamwork made the fitness trail possible.
“I’ve been here 20 years,” said Stan Korducki, president of Wood County Hospital. “And I remember talking to people about how Bowling Green was different.”
That difference was the desire to work together to make life better for citizens.
“I hadn’t seen that in other communities,” Korducki said.
The hospital decided to tear down the weathered big blue house that sat along Conneaut Avenue, which left a green space with old stone fences. Since one of the hospital’s missions is to encourage people to be more active, the decision was made to tie Simpson Garden Park and the sledding hill together.
“This just seemed to be the right thing to do,” Korducki said.
Kristin Otley, director of the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, remembered checking out the fitness equipment for placement in a city park.
“Literally the next day I got a phone call,” she said. It was the hospital calling to see if the park and recreation department would be interested in partnering on the project.
With the help of a grant from the Bowling Green Community Foundation, the fitness trail and exercise equipment became reality.
“This is another classic example of how our community comes together for the betterment of our citizens,” said Earlene Kilpatrick, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards agreed. “This is classic Bowling Green collaboration. Thank you on behalf of the community and on behalf of the city.”
Demonstrations on how to use the exercise station will be given by hospital staff on Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m., and Monday from 4 to 5 p.m.