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The New Simms Park Fitness Center and Trail

From (l-r) Council Member Juan Garza, Mayor Dan Koops, Mayor Pro Tem Ron Schnablegger, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Council Member Sonny Santa Ines and Council Member Ray Dunton enjoy a laugh at the park opening.  Photo by Tammye McDuff.

From (l-r) Council Member Juan Garza, Mayor Dan Koops, Mayor Pro Tem Ron Schnablegger, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Council Member Sonny Santa Ines and Council Member Ray Dunton enjoy a laugh at the park opening. Photo by Tammye McDuff.


By Tammye McDuff

The City of Bellflower celebrated the grand opening Simms Park Fitness Center and Walking Trail Tuesday, December 13th.

The Fitness Center offers top of the line outdoor gym equipment that is available at no cost to the surrounding community. Comprised of 30 different exercise units and accommodating nearly 60 simultaneous users, the Simms Park Fitness Center is the largest outdoor gym in the United States. Built by Orange County based manufacturer Greenfields Outdoor Fitness, the Center currently occupies a previously abandoned structure. The idea was to create an appealing atmosphere which would accommodate people of all fitness abilities from seniors to teen aged residents, as well as being wheelchair compliant.

“Our challenge of repurposing an unused area brought back to life, is one of the most exciting projects Greenfields has undertaken – an outdoor gym unparalleled in either the scope of exercises offered or the wide range of ability levels served,” said Greenfields President and CEO Sam Mendelsohn.

A hallmark of Greenfields’ gyms is the 3-Signature Accessible fitness units that are patented dual access machines for both the able bodied and those who propel wheelchairs. In the same cluster, other Greenfields units such as the 4-Person Lower Body Combo and 2-Person Ski will offer body weight resistance exercises with a strong interactive factor. These rugged, weather tested apparatuses have grown in popularity throughout the United States and are gaining an international reputation. The gym equipment improves a range of motion and helps to regain lost agility.

A second area, which will house Greenfields’ Professional Series units with adjustable resistance, emulate a typical indoor gym experience, offering a cardio section with four steppers and a training circuit of 12 additional units targeting upper body, core and lower body.

Rounding out the large variety of exercise units in the Fitness Center is Greenfields’ new 13-Person Cross Fitness Rig, with functional fitness stations for dips, sit-ups, leg raises, knee raises, standard and assisted push-ups. There are also stations for standard and parallel pull-ups/chin- ups; an agility ladder; and targets for wall ball squats.

The Cross Fitness Rig provides full-body workout for advanced users, focusing on strength training for upper body, lower body, and core muscles. This multifunctional unit allows stretching opportunities for warm-ups and cool-down.

“We feel that there is a unique attraction and appeal to this new and unique outdoor gym, which will bring families and communities together like few park amenities can,” said Mendelsohn. “Along with a similar ‘ultimate’ gym in Costa Rica, the Simms Park Fitness Center represents one of Greenfields’ best and largest examples of that ideal to date. ”

The trail portion of the project consists of a new walking path that connects to existing pathways and completes a half mile loop around the park. Additional amenities include fencing to protect walkers, trail signage, park benches and trash receptacles.

The Simms Park Fitness Center and Trail will provide individuals with an opportunity to engage in self-directed physical fitness activities using state of the art equipment at no cost. Similar fitness equipment was recently installed at Caruthers Park and Zinn Community Park and Trail.

“Bellflower is committed to developing projects that promote an active and healthy lifestyle. In providing recreational opportunities it is our hope that the community will be more physically active, thereby improving their health and quality of life. The completion of the Simms Park Fitness Center and Trail project reinforces Bellflower’s commitment to making Bellflower a better place to live, work and play,” said Mayor Dan Koops.

Approximately $300,000 in grant funding for this project was provided through Los Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe’s Proposition A Park Bond funds, which among other uses, provides funds to public agencies and non-profit organizations in the County for the purpose of acquiring and development of facilities or open space for public recreation. Grant funds are administered through the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District.