Terry Bushay, last year's Rotary Club president, launched the idea to the community in a speech to the Homeowners' Association in April last year. Last year's Rotary theme was "building communities and spanning continents."
"We're carrying on with that theme of building communities," Bushay said Friday as he and fellow Rotarians worked on installing six pieces of workout equipment near the picnic pavilion.
The workout equipment includes a stair stepper/back stretcher combination, an elliptical machine, a ski walker, pushup bars, a rowing machine and leg press. Two benches will also be set up for people to rest.
The equipment cost $4,500, Bushay said, a reasonable good price, and was purchased with donations and fund-raisers.
"Cornerstone Bank gave us a $6,000 grant, and there is another $4,000 by Rotary," Bushay said. "(Developer) Tom Dees donated the land. The whole project will be about $10,000 and should be completed by the end of September."
The "whole project," of which the workout equipment is Phase II, includes a 1.25 mile walking trail around the park, of which three-quarters of a mile was started last year. The trail will loop around the park and have two cutoffs so people can walk shorter or longer distances.
Improvements to the walking path, including mulching, will be Phase III, Bushay said.
Once the workout equipment is set in concrete, a truck will come with gravel and dirt to fill in around each station. Signage will also be placed to explain how the equipment works.
The fitness trail and workout stations are part of a larger overall plan for the Veterans Park, started by Dees more than 10 years ago. He donated land to VFW Post 77 to begin it.
Since its inception, Dees, veterans' and church organizations, Rotary and corporate sponsors have donated funds and volunteer time. Additions to the park include the picnic pavilion, playground, helicopter and "Fallen Soldiers" statue, veterans' memorial wall, flags and an amphitheater stage, on which concerts have already occurred, with electricity provided for amplification.
For more information on this project or to get involved with this or other park improvements, call Bushay at 479-253-5599, 253-2262 or Dees at 253-8233.