Birmingham is turning the East Lake Park tennis courts into a new innovative outdoor gym

Birmingham
Entrance to East Lake Park in Birmingham. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Move over Planet Fitness, there is a new kind of gym coming to East Lake Park.

Earlier this week, the city of Birmingham began transforming the dilapidated East Lake Park tennis courts into an outdoor gym.

According to Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams, the newest amenity to the historic park was supposed to be finished by the end of last year, but was delayed because of supply-chain issues.

“Construction has started,” Williams told Bham Now. “They’re physically busting up the old tennis court material and then they’re gonna put down a new layer of aggregate. The equipment is physically drilled into the new aggregate. It’s going to be ADA accessible. A lot of people go to East Lake Park to walk around the lake on the trail. I believe this will get a lot of use in the park.”

East Lake Park is a Priority

East Lake
East Lake Park. (Jacob Blankenship/ Bham Now)

Upgrading the park has been a priority for Williams, who represents neighborhoods surrounding East Lake. During his first term, the football field was repaired and lights were installed. Now, youth football has returned.

“When there are nice public spaces that families and residents use it creates a community vibe, an environment that has a direct impact on the neighborhood in a positive way,” Williams added.

If you are curious what the outdoor gym will look like, it is similar to the stations set up at the west end of Railroad Park—but in East Park’s case “supersized.” There will be a greater number of different types of equipment and different types of stations there, including multiple pieces of the same equipment so numerous participants can use the “circuit” at the same time. The equipment is designed so individuals use their body weight to strengthen areas like upper body, legs, arms and more.

Complete Early Summer

The nearly $250,000 outdoor gym is expected to be fully installed within the next two months, depending on the weather. 

Tell us your favorite memories of East Lake Park. And will the new outdoor gym be a hit? Tell us on social media @bhamnow

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Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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