FitLot is a New Orleans-based, national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities find the resources they need to plan, build, and activate outdoor fitness parks. Founded in 2013, FitLot’s vision is for every American to have access to a cost-free public exercise space within walking distance of their homes.
Americans suffer from more lifestyle-related, preventable illnesses than any other country in the developed world.
Unfortunately, the communities suffering the most often have the least resources to improve health outcomes and create fitness opportunities.
FitLot exists to help bridge that gap.
A Community Centric Response to the Pandemic
COVID-19 has created social isolation, unemployment, and limited access to fitness facilities while putting a strain on physical and mental health. Communities throughout the country are being forced to forge a new normal while finding fresh solutions to long-term problems.
Outdoor Fitness Parks are a Solution
Each FitLot is a community space for people to get active, connect with neighbors, and proactively care for their health. The FitLot model is an innovative response to the challenges of lifestyle-related health issues, ever-growing public health disparities, and inequitable access to quality fitness equipment and instruction.
FitLot’s Impact To Date
Updated November 2022
TOTAL FITLOT OUTDOOR FITNESS PARKS
FUNDED, DONATED & CONSTRUCTED
RAISED TO SUPPORT THE CREATION
AND ACTIVATION OF PUBLIC OUTDOOR FITNESS PARKS
NO-COST COMMUNITY FITLOT CLASSES
NO-COST COMMUNITY FITLOT CLASS PARTICIPANTS
LOCAL FITNESS PROFESSIONALS
TRAINED AS FITLOT NEIGHBORHOOD COACHES
COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS SUPPORTED
WITH FITLOT’S PARK PLANNING GUIDE
OF RECYCLED TIRE RUBBER
KEPT OUT OF LANDFILLS
OF PUBLIC OUTDOOR FITNESS PARK
FitLot Has Organized the Donation, Construction and Activation of Outdoor Fitness Parks in all 50 States the USVI, PR and DC.
Click below to find your closest FitLot or to learn more about a particular project.
Praise for “The FitLot Method”
12-week training program
“My mobility has improved more than 50% since I started. About a month ago I’d have to get in a grocery store cart to do my shopping. The progress I’m making is life changing.”
Our Plan for a Greater New Orleans Network of Outdoor Fitness Parks
FitLot is raising the support needed to plan, build, and program a network of outdoor fitness parks that will create equitable access to outdoor fitness spaces and instruction for more New Orleanians.
The map below features at least one potentially ideal location for a FitLot in each Council District.
Existing green spaces have been identified by the Councilmembers of those Districts as being an impactful location for the addition of an outdoor community fitness park.
While this is one possible framework of a Greater New Orleans network, the final site selection work will be collaborative and community-driven.
Explore the Network Map
On the map below, click the icon in the upper left corner to view the list of potential FitLot park locations in Orleans (blue) and Jefferson (yellow). Current FitLot parks (red) are included along with existing non-FitLot outdoor fitness parks (green). Click on a marker to view details of the park, including approximate number of residents served within a 10-minute walk.
THE WHY – BY THE NUMBERS
25-30 Year – Life Expectancy Difference
Residents in the Treme neighborhood live 25-30 years less than people in neighborhoods only two miles away.
31-42% of adults are obese
In the GNO Area, 31-42% of adults are obese, increasing the risk for leading causes of death, including heart attack, stroke, and different types of cancers.
24-34% of adults lack physical activity
In the Greater New Orleans area 24-34% of adults lack physical activity.
1.26 Million people live in the New Orleans, Metairie Metro Area and only 2.5% live within walking distance of an outdoor fitness space.
To learn more about the health of the Greater New Orleans Area please view the resources below:
- New Orleans Health Department’s Community Health Improvement Plan For 2022-2025
- City Health Dashboard; Data from PLACES Project, Centers for Disease Control, 2019
- PLACES, Local Data for Better Health, CDC
- 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment by LCMC & Ochsner
- American College of Sports Medicine’s National Fitness Index Ranking/Report for New Orleans (#46 of 100 Largest US Cities)
What is a FitLot?
Here are the equipment details.
The FitLot offers a purposeful combination of equipment elements that provides a fully functional community fitness space for the widest range of ages and abilities.
Each FitLot is similar in size to a playground – is shaded and safety-surfaced, and contains both static and moveable fitness equipment for strength, cardio, balance, and flexibility training. The equipment is made with powder coated steel and made to last outdoors with minimal to no maintenance needed.
Learn how to use your FitLot
The Welcome Sign features a library of movements you can do with FitKit resistance bands.
The fitness equipment of the park is integrated directly into the shade structure, creating a continuous circuit to follow.
Scan the QR Codes for 30 second instructional videos.
Each piece of equipment has an instructional sign with QR Code. Scan the QR code to visit our Library of Movements and watch a 30 second instructional video on how to use that piece of equipment.
Adjustable resistance dials allow users to increase or decrease the difficulty.
The Elliptical, Stair Stepper, Chest Press and Hand Cycle have a resistance dial. Turn the dial right to turn up the resistance, turn the dial to the left to turn down the resistance.
10,000 lbs of recycled tire rubber forms a fun & safe surface to exercise on.
1,400 SQFT of 3” poured in place rubber surfacing meets ASTM safety standards and creates a fun and safe surface to exercise on. Each FitLot repurposes 10,000 lbs of recycled tire rubber, keeping that material out of landfills.
32 attachment sites for FitKit Resistance Bands.
These resistance bands can be used at ankle, waist and shoulder heights so that park users can add dozens of additional exercise options to their workouts. Buy the FitKit here.
Moveable Elements replicate the benefits of indoor fitness equipment.
Moveable Strength and Cardio Training Elements replicate the benefits of several pieces of commonly found indoor fitness equipment and makes them available for outdoor use.
Activating Each Park
Creating opportunities for community members to learn how to use their FitLot is critical to our mission. We strive to see every FitLot activated with free community fitness programs.
The FitLot Method Circuit Training Program leverages the park as a whole and includes an activation platform featuring instructional exercise videos, circuit training planning guides, and training programs for local fitness professionals to become FitLot Neighborhood Coaches and run no cost classes for the community.
FitLot works with a team of certified installers who manage construction and installation and also assist with long term maintenance. Each park takes about 3 weeks to build.
The GNO Network of FitLots could be built in a matter of months, or the parks could be strategically rolled out over a longer period of time as a one or two-year impact initiative.
Want more details?
The Title Sponsor of the GNO FitLot Network will be making a statement that their company is truly dedicated to the long term health of the community their company serves and employees live in. People will interact with these spaces multiple times a week to improve their health and quality of life for many years to come.
Logo Recognition and Custom Colors
The welcome sign, safety surfacing, and shade canopy all provide opportunities for sponsor recognition and logo placements.
In addition, park equipment can feature a custom color palette to match the branding of the sponsor.
Over the last two years, our Community Build Days, Ribbon Cuttings, and ongoing activation of the parks have all been well covered by news media outlets throughout the country.
In an 18-month period, the AARP FitLot Initiative was picked up by 98 different media outlets across America with a potential reach of over 65 million people. Along with print and online news outlets, almost half of these earned media hits were via local broadcast television news.
We’ve also had broad social media engagement by mayors and other elected officials, parks and recreation department pages, and FitLot coaches and users all across the country.
Our development goal for the GNO FitLot Network is $3,000,000, an amount that builds a community legacy for at least 15-20 years.
As we continue garnering support from community partners and elected leaders in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, we look forward to discussing this initiative with you.
Larry Barabino, Jr – CEO, New Orleans Recreation Development Commission
Helena Moreno – NO Councilmember At-Large
Joe Giarrusso – NO Councilmember District A
Jay Banks – NO Councilmember, District B
Freddie King III – NO Councilmember, District C
Jared Brosssett – NO Councilmember, District D
Cyndi Nguyen, NO Councilmember District E
Mario Bazile – Director, Jefferson Parish Parks and Recreation Department
Scott Walker – Jefferson Parish Council Chairman
Marion Edwards – JP Councilmember District 1
Deano Bonano – JP Councilmember District 2
Jennifer Van Vrancken – JP Councilmember, District 5
Kelsey Foster – Executive Director Algiers Economic Development Foundation
Gordon Wage – President and CEO, YMCA of Greater New Orleans
Sarah Babcock, MPH – CAA for Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng
Jahana Deadmon, MS – Chronic Disease Coordinator / Population Health & Disease Prevention for New Orleans Health Department
Join our team of FitLot Network Partners
For Questions or Inquiries Please Contact:
Founder & Executive Director of FitLot, Inc.
4035 Washington Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70125
Adam@fitlot.org | (504)264-1568