The Downers Grove Park District received a donation of outdoor fitness equipment in early January from the Vachaparambil family, area residents who frequently use McCollum Park.
Matthew Vachaparambil came to the Downers Grove Park District with the idea of the donation after some travels abroad as well as domestic where he had seen the use of outdoor fitness equipment in many parks. Outdoor fitness equipment has been trending upward recently, likely due to the economy as no gym membership fees are required to use the equipment. Matthew’s intention was to contribute to improving quality of life thereby helping people avoid injuries or sickness that could be prevented and ultimately saving on health care costs. Vachaparambil stated "Exercise, especially out in the fresh air is the best way for overcoming any kind of adversity and to increase the quality of life".
The donation is valued at nearly $40,000. Park staff was able to install eight pieces of fitness equipment within the playground area of McCollum Park on January 11th, due to unseasonably warm weather. A poured-rubber surface was installed below two wheelchair-accessible pieces of equipment, and playground mulch surface was installed surrounding all other equipment. The outdoor fitness area is now open for use year round.
The Downers Grove Park District will recognize the Vachaparambil family for this generous donation with a bronze plaque at the site. The Park District hopes the community will take advantage of the outdoor fitness equipment at McCollum Park to improve health and wellness in 2012 and years to come.
The Downers Grove Park District is dedicated to providing a wide variety of year-round recreation programs, facilities, parks, open space and natural areas that respond to the articulated needs and desires of residents. For more information, call (630) 963-1300, or visit www.dgparks.org .