ST. MARIS – Following a four-year process, on October 29, a number of officials and community members gathered on Depo Street to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Fitness Court in downtown St. Mary’s.

Former city manager Tim Pearson said the trip began in 2017 when he opened an email to the national fitness campaign and spoke to his team.

St. Mary’s is said to be one of the 100 outdoor fitness courts in the United States in 2018.

The trademark Fitness Court is described as an invention designed to improve the quality of life in cities, schools, parks and trails.

Although we may not be able to collect everything in 2018, we have been able to connect with the new downtown park development and get donors to help us buy the court in December 2019, Pearson said.

After leaving the city in December 2020, Pearson mobilized a group of local volunteers to press the court in 2021, including Nick Hayes and Ed Brem and Skills USA students from St. Mary’s High School. He also had support from local companies, said Pearson and the city’s public works team.

Pen Highland Healthcare is an important partner in this process.

“I think the Fitness Court is one more important part of the massive strategic overhaul in our city center to make it more mobile, functional and enjoyable for our residents and visitors. It’s a complete addition to the city’s New Downtown Event Park, ”said Pearson.

This effort has taken a lot of perseverance from all involved, said Pearson, including Tina Gradizi, the city’s director of community and economic development, who put the project together.

After a four-year journey, Pearson expressed his delight at attending the Fitness Court that day and seeing the finished product. He said St. Mary’s fitness and health community strongly supports the effort.

In a video posted on the Riverside 98.9 website by New Horizon Healthy Leroyy Cop, he demonstrated a fitness court that gave examples of exercises that people can try on a variety of controversies.

Brad Chapman, CEO of Penn Highlands Elk, also spoke on ribbon cutting. He and his family lived in St. Mary’s for more than four years; They are impressed by the community and the support it provides.

“We are proud to be part of a fitness court here and to promote a healthy lifestyle in our community,” he said.

Gradizi also spoke, thanking all of the court’s sponsors, local individuals and families.

Jolin Hindman, a member of the First Energy Foundation, one of the court’s donors, explained why it is important to contribute to the project.

Bob Roberts and a supporter of St. Mary’s Rotary Club, Vern Crack, spoke about the club’s domestic projects over the years, including the Scout House in Memorial Park and the time between St. Mary’s.

“We are thrilled to be able to support this project here in this beautiful park,” says Krake.

Roberts said: “The club is committed to making this a dream come true for everyone.

The current city manager, Joe Fleming, thanked everyone for their contribution.

“It’s great to see a project come together at the community level,” he said.