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Ribbon Cutting Introduces Three New Pieces of Outdoor Fitness Equipment Along the Creekwalk in Armory Square

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Syracuse, NY – The Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc., in partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and the City of Syracuse, is pleased to unveil Downtown’s first free outdoor fitness park to promote active and healthy lifestyles for the Downtown Syracuse community. Wednesday morning at 10:30 am, the Downtown Committee held a ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the Creekwalk Fitness Project, three new pieces of outdoor fitness equipment along the Creekwalk in Armory Square. Each piece of exercise equipment – the Parallel Bars, Ab Crunch/Leg Lift and Tai Chi Wheels - are located at the Trailhead of the Creekwalk, near the Museum of Science and Technology. Each piece is free to use and accessible to all ages and abilities. P1040813 Copy

The conversation to bring outdoor fitness equipment to Downtown Syracuse started in 2014, among health-minded community organizations, businesses and individuals. In December, 2015, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield awarded the Downtown Committee with a generous $5,000 grant to allow the vision to become a reality.

"Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is pleased to sponsor the Downtown Syracuse Foundation's Creekwalk Fitness Project, which supports our own mission to improve the health of the members and communities that we serve," said Jim Reed, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. "As a non-profit organization that has been serving the health insurance coverage needs of upstate New Yorkers for more than 80 years, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield encourages residents to take charge of their own health and wellness by getting regular exercise. We hope that the Creekwalk fitness equipment will help them accomplish that goal.”

The Downtown Committee ordered the equipment from HealthBeat – selecting a ‘tangerine orange’ as a color as a nod to the community’s beloved Syracuse University Orange – and gifted the items to the City of Syracuse. Each piece of equipment is designed to tone a different body part, and was ordered with different workout interests and abilities in mind.

“We are so grateful to have the support of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and the City of Syracuse in this project,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee. “We chose the pieces we did knowing that fitness and exercise is very important to Downtown’s residents and growing employee base. As our residential and workforce population continues to grow, we strive to be able to provide additional amenities that encourage folks to extend the time they spend in Downtown Syracuse. ”

“Physical fitness is important to the overall well-being of Syracuse residents,” said City of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “The Creekwalk is a major investment so everyone can walk or run and enjoy a unique space where nature and our urban core connect. This equipment will allow people more opportunities to exercise and enjoy our Downtown space.”

The Downtown Committee would like to thank the City of Syracuse for its partnership with this project.

The Parallel Bars encourage endurance, eye-hand coordination and may be used to improve upper body strength, core body strength, lower body strength, as well as balance and motor planning.  This wheelchair-accessible station accommodates beginners, advanced users and rehabilitation users.

The Ab Crunch/Leg Lift offers two different activities in one fitness station. Users will be able to “work” upper and lower abdominals in the Ab Crunch, while strengthening muscles in their legs. The equipment helps improve coordination and flexibility as well. 

The Tai Chi Wheels promote flexibility and evenly tone muscles without strain. They enhance relaxation and meditation.

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Metro Fitness Club, located at 205 South Salina Street, has had a Downtown Syracuse presence since 1995. Metro Fitness employees provided a demonstration, showing people how to use the three pieces of equipment, following the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning. Metro Fitness Club owner, Randy Sabourin, was honored to participate, having been a strong supporter of the Creekwalk Fitness Project since its inception.

"I am so proud to have been a small partner in helping the Downtown Committee of Syracuse establish our community’s first free outdoor fitness park, and  promote a healthy lifestyle for people of all abilities,” said Randy Sabourin, Owner of Metro Fitness Club on Salina Street. “This is an inspiring investment that will encourage our downtown residents and employees to incorporate a fitness regimen into their daily routines, and hopefully help to ward off heart disease, obesity and other ailments associated with sedentary lifestyles."

For more information about the Creekwalk Fitness Project and the equipment, please visit the Downtown Committee website

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About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.5 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools. For more information, please visit ExcellusBCBS.com.

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