Paterson to create fitness zone to promote fitness amid pandemic

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Leaders in Paterson are trying to lure people back outside with a focus on physical activity to make wellness more appealing - especially for young people.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh has a vision to increase outdoor activity on the plot of land in Pennington Park on McBride Avenue.

COVID-19 has forced many communities to really take note and to act on offering families health-conscious activities.

"When I was diagnosed with the virus, I made it a point to double down and make sure I was taking my vitamins but also remaining fit and remaining active," Sayegh said.

So with park grants and in partnership with St. Joseph's Health, Paterson will be getting its own fitness zone.

"We know as health care providers there is only so much we can do to improve the health of the community, most of that work has to be done out in the community so this is the first of many initiatives we'll be working with the city on," said Kevin Slavin, the CEO of St. Joseph's Health system.

"We'll put all the pieces together so that when we say we want to improve Paterson, we mean we're going to improve Paterson," Sayegh said.

The city plans to begin building the fitness area as soon as possible. In fact, it has a master plan to overhaul all of its parks with millions of dollars already secured to make them all even better family destinations.

"We deserve the same level of parks and infrastructure and play spaces and outdoor recreation and health benefits and everything that good parks bring to a community," said Paterson Business Administrator Kathleen Long.

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