Now the transformation of Fulton’s Van Buren Park continues with the completion of a half-mile walking trail that passes through a picturesque row of shade trees. The Van Buren Park Fitness Trail is the result of a collaboration between Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) and Friends of Fulton Parks.
“The missions of OCO’s Impact Program and Friends of Fulton Parks, and our shared goals of providing opportunities for healthy outdoor physical activity in the community, aligned to create a great collaborative team,” said Kelley Weaver of Friends of Fulton Parks.
“The timing was a perfect storm of synergy,” continued Weaver. “The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism, and Planning had secured a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to plant trees at Van Buren Park and Sixth Ward Common Councilor Lawrence Macner expressed his commitment to improve recreation at Van Buren Park. Current park use by walkers, as well as the terrain and area of the park allowed for an unobtrusive improvement with minimal disturbance or loss of greenspace. Larry not only strongly advocated for the park, he physically worked as a volunteer to make the improvements in the parks.”
City of Fulton Parks and Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander worked with the Atlantic States Legal Foundation and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. As a result, over 180 trees were planted in Van Buren Park. “I had them plant two rows approximately twenty feet apart so that we could have a trail between them,” said Ostrander. "Once the trail was installed my department placed a kiosk with an explanation as to why the trees were planted. We also installed 3 pieces of exercise equipment and 2 park benches in the park for the Friends of Fulton Parks.”
“The trail enhances the entire park,” continued Ostrander. “The recreational and health benefits that it offers help to improve the quality of life in our community. People can now enjoy an area that was once abandoned. The fitness trail will draw more interest from community members. Hopefully, that will lead to more recreational activities at the park.”
While the Van Buren Fitness Trail is relatively new it has seen substantial use and continues to attract more walkers.
“We have already received many positive comments from people walking the trail,” added Weaver. “We also foresee future community events at Van Buren Park. OCO has been a pleasure to partner with and we look forward to future shared endeavors to improve the quality of life for Fulton's residents and visitors.”
“We are proud to be working with Friends of Fulton Parks to increase the quality of life in our community,” said OCO’s Coordinator of Community Health, Leanna Cleveland. “The fitness trail is a wonderful addition to the park. It makes for a comfortable walk and the fitness stations along the way make it easy for community members to enjoy the park while creating a healthy exercise routine.”
With the Van Buren Park Fitness Trail completed Friends of Fulton Parks is currently working on the completion of the Teen Haven at the Recreation Park and anticipates its opening in late October.
Did you know? One of Oswego County’s largest employers, OCO provides more than 50 human service programs that touch the lives of approximately 20,000 county residents each year. OCO’s mission is to build partnerships that improve the quality of life and create successful communities. Visit OCO on the web at www.oco.org. Oswego County Opportunities is a member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County. Now you know ... it’s OCO!
Friends of Fulton Parks is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit volunteer organization. Its mission is to preserve and revitalize Fulton's parks through collaborative restoration and community events in the parks. For more information on Friends of Fulton Parks or to become a volunteer contact FoFP at [email protected], check out FoFP on Facebook: www.facebook.com/friendsoffultonparks, or visit friendsoffultonparks.org.