A breath of fresh air: River Falls’ first free outdoors fitness trail coming soon
The public is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting event marking the trail opening 3-4 p.m. Oct. 24 at DeSanctis Park.
Written By: Rachel Helgeson | Oct 18th 2019 – 7am.
Leadership River Falls class of 2018-2019 chose to take on a fitness trail project to meet the needs of society and offer healthy outdoor opportunities. Pictured are (from row, from left) Lisa Jahns, First National Bank of River Falls; Maren Valentine, Oso Clean; Laura Bower, River Falls State Bank; (back) Amy Peterson, city of River Falls; Cindy Campbell, city of River Falls; Alan Symicek, University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia
RIVER FALLS — One of three regional parks in River Falls, DeSanctis Park on Roosevelt Street, will soon be home to a free outdoor fitness trail system, which will be open year-round.
This will be the only fitness trail currently available to River Falls.
Eleven community members from various businesses and institutions came together for this year’s Leadership River Falls team and brainstormed project ideas to tackle growing rates of childhood obesity and offer outdoor opportunities.
Each year a newly established Leadership group chooses a community project to fulfill certain city needs and then raises money to complete the plans.
“We come together for an impact that answers a need for society,” Leadership member Maren Valentine with the Oso Clean business said. “There was excitement in the community from Facebook, and we hope people do come out and utilize the trail.”
The low-maintenance fitness trail will include 10 outdoor stations within the system along the ADA accessible paved trails. No electricity is needed to run the system and stations are self-guided. The existing paved trail at DeSanctis is ADA accessible and weaves around a playground, prairie and pond, a half basketball court and the Glover Schoolhouse.
Members said they hope the fitness trail course will be a space for servicemen and women on the police and fire departments and local National Guard members to train outdoors.
River Falls is home to three regional parks: DeSanctis Park, Glen Park and Hoffman Park. The 25-acre DeSanctis Park was donated to the city in the mid-1990s by Peter and Susan DeSanctis on behalf of the Ryan Nicholas DeSanctis Trust. The park has a passive environment where organized and tournament sports are restricted.
Leadership River Falls team and raised the $13,000 for the trail implementation.
“The coolest part was the community stepped up and businesses contributed,” Amy Peterson, Leadership member and River Falls Development Services director, said.
Major donors included Security Financial Bank, Allina Health, City of River Falls, Westconsin Credit Union, Ayres Associates and Pechacek’s General Contracting.
The donors and the public are invited to the official opening and ribbon-cutting event for the fitness trail 3-4 p.m. Oct. 24. The park board and mayor will be present.