The NFC is “a quality of life consulting firm that partners with cities, schools, corporations and design firms to fund and build outdoor Fitness Courts to improve the quality of life in America,” according to its website.
The seven-station court allows visitors to work on their agility, core and bend, as well as focus on other activities like lunges, squats, pulls and pushes. A free mobile application is also available to help guide participants during their workout.
The city is also currently looking for Fitness Court Ambassadors to partner with to offer free workout classes, challenges and workshops to residents who choose to participate.
The project began in 2019 when the City Council accepted a grant from the NFC to fund the outdoor fitness center. The grant covered $150,000, the city’s Utilities Fund covered another almost $200,000 and the remaining costs will continue to be funded by sponsors and Capital Improvement Program budgets.
Danielle Lopez, assistant director of community services for Escondido, told The Coast News that the idea initially started when a member of the public reached out to the city wanting a facility of this type in one of Escondido’s parks. He suggested the NFC, and everything else fell into place.
“The timing of this is great. Especially in such a unique time, these are places where people can go and safely get their exercise,” Lopez said. “There’s an app to track workouts or compete with other people and it shows you where the other fitness courts are located. It’s free fitness and it’s good for all ages and all fitness levels.”
She added that Escondido has also been designated as the first Model City in the region, which means five more Fitness Courts will be installed throughout Escondido. The next two parks will be located on the library campus and in Kit Carson Park in 2021.
The City Council has already approved a Capital Improvement Project in FY 2020-21 for the next two Fitness Courts.
The debut of the court comes just days after San Diego was moved into the most restrictive “purple” tier of Gov. Newsom’s four-level matrix for governing business operations. The category restricts gyms and fitness facilities from operating indoors, forcing them to either move their operations outside or temporarily close down.
To learn more about the Fitness Court, or how to become an ambassador, residents can visit https://recreation.escondido.org/fitness-court-1.