New Market seeks grant for exercise equipment

The town of New Market passed a resolution this week to pursue two separate grants that would promote exercise and healthy living.

Town Manager Mike Ritchie said the town has been actively seeking new exercise equipment to place in the town’s park for close to two years.

The grant is through the Health Eating Active Living Cities Program, which is funded by Kaiser Permanente and a partnership with the Virginia Municipal League.

According to the program’s website, it is designed to help localities implement policies “that stem the obesity epidemic” and create healthy communities.

The other grant, Ritchie noted, is for 50 percent matching funds and would go toward the cost of upgrading fitness trail equipment in the town park.

He said the town is looking at various types of equipment through a company called Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Equipment.

“With the exercise equipment that we intend to put in the town park, it’s designed to use each individual’s body weight,” Ritchie said. “It would be suitable for a wide range of ages and ability levels.”

Ritchie said that town is hoping to purchase 10 different pieces of equipment that cover a number of different activities, from leg exercise to core workouts.

“We have kind of a walking and jogging trail in the park currently, and it’s a loop of approximately one kilometer,” Ritchie said, adding that the town would space out the equipment along the trail.

Ritchie added, “Instead of having everything grouped in one spot, you kind of do it like a circuit training type of deal if you wanted to.”

The equipment would cost “in the neighborhood of $20,000″ before either cost share grant kicked in, Ritchie said.

“Depending on how much money we end up getting, that would influence which ones and how many pieces we get,” Ritchie said.

Town Administrative Assistant Donna Lohr noted that the deadline for applications is June 25.

“The grant decision is supposed to be announced in early August, so we won’t hear anything for a little while,” Lohr said.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or

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