New Outdoor Fitness Court Opens in Parsons with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

by Daisy

PARSONS, Kan. — The city of Parsons unveiled its first outdoor fitness court on Tuesday, marking a significant addition to the community’s recreational facilities. The ribbon-cutting ceremony brought together city officials, community members, and representatives from various organizations.

“This is a significant step for our community. Outdoor recreation is vital, and here in Labette County, we embrace the outdoors,” said Jim Zaleski, Economic Development Director for the City of Parsons.


The event saw participation from the Parsons Police Department, Parsons Fire Department, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, and other local entities. The fitness court, designed for full-body workouts, is strategically located between the playground and the walking trail in Forest Park.


“For six months, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring this facility to our residents, providing a no-cost way to get active and enjoy the outdoors,” Zaleski added.


Jim Zaleski highlighted the community’s health challenges, noting that Labette County often ranks low in health metrics within southeast Kansas. “This fitness court offers an opportunity for residents to improve their health for free,” he said.

Virginia Barns, Director of Blue Health Initiatives at Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas, echoed this sentiment. “We’re committed to creating access to free physical activity in communities across our service area,” Barns stated. “This court is a way to help residents stay healthy and lead healthier lives.”

During the ceremony, attendees witnessed demonstrations of the fitness court’s seven exercises, ranging from push-ups to body-weighted pulls, performed by volunteers from the Parsons Fire Department.

The realization of this $200,000 project was made possible through the combined efforts of the City of Parsons, Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas, Labette Health, Parsons Chamber of Commerce, Bowen Pharmacy, and the National Fitness Campaign.

“Post-COVID, we’ve seen a surge in the use of our walking trails and Forest Park. This fitness court is an ideal way to continue that trend,” Zaleski concluded.


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