The average elementary school student’s recess is spent traversing monkey bars and slipping down slides, but Wendy Barron spends her time working out.
Hiawatha Elementary School held on Wednesday a ribbon cutting ceremony for their Fitness Trail — a half-mile loop around the school that is dotted by five fitness stations and a 9-foot-high climbing wall.
“It helps your arms and your legs and it can like burn your fat,” Barron, a fifth grade student, said of her favorite piece of equipment, The Ski-Walker.
Other workout options include stationary bicycles, rowing machines, and a sit-up station.
The designs for the trail stemmed from a Hiawatha Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization meeting last fall, and through fundraising, donations, and a Lowes Toolbox for Education Grant of $5,000, the school was able to raise a total of $24,000 for the project.
“The PTO board, we are all very active in fitness,” said Julie Spore, the PTO treasurer. “So as we were coming up with the idea, we thought, ‘Hey, have you ever seen these pieces of equipment?’ And we wondered if there were any for kids.”
The metal equipment is durable, can withstand adverse weather conditions, and are a size that are comfortable for both children and adults.
And with Guthridge Park just across the street, the hope is adults on their morning strolls will cross the road, continue walking on the school’s trail, and stop for a quick workout at one of the stations.
Angie Cole, the directer of parks and recreation for Hiawatha, said the city was excited about the school’s trail, and that the city donated the time to lay the chunk of sidewalk needed to complete the half-mile loop — a labor cost of roughly $8,000.
“At Guthridge Park, so many people walk those trails,” Cole said. “For people to be able to walk that, cross the street, and then continue their walk and fitness program with the school’s equipment, it is a great thing to do.”