Bench Fit Fitness Guides Installed At Round Rock Greenbelt

ROUND ROCK, TX — The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with the People and Parks Fund to bring Bench Fit by TrekFit signs outlining fitness program routines to Round Rock West Greenbelt, city officials announced on Thursday.

To that end, five Bench Fit double-sided panels with different workout routines on each side have been installed near each park bench off the Round Rock West Greenbelt. The Bench Fit signs replaced the aging and unsafe fitness equipment that was removed from the park as part of the trail renovation, city officials explained. Residents now can get a safe, whole-body workout using nothing more than the Bench Fit signs & park benches located on the Round Rock West Greenbelt. The signs also include QR codes so residents can access exercise instructional videos via their smartphones while on the trail.

The initiative was made possible by a generous donation by several Round Rock residents through the People and Parks Fund and the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, according to an advisory. The People & Parks fund is a non-profit giving circle dedicated to partnering with the Round Rock community to enhance people’s lives by making our public parks, trails and green spaces better through advocacy and financial support. The People & Parks Fund also aids in parks and trails preservation and promotes environmental stewardship.

The People and Parks Fund raises funds by selling “memberships” to the public for just $20 per year, officials said. Memberships includes a free t-shirt, membership card, and voting rights to help select the project funded that year. Volunteers for the organization attend Round Rock events throughout the city to help spread awareness and fundraise for the organization. The People and Parks Fund is also a proud sponsor of the “Pop Up Play Day” events that occur throughout the community.

Parks project something of a labor of love

The initiative at Round Rock West Greenbelt is something of a labor of love, furthering the vision of a woman after her death by her son.

People & Parks was established by Sharon Prete, who served as the director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Round Rock for 25 years. “Upon her retirement, she still had a passion for the parks system in the City of Round Rock,” officials wrote. “As director, she was all too familiar with the funding shortfall that can happen at the end of a project.”

She had a sense of duty to establish the People & Parks Fund through the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation to help with these shortfalls and/or fund smaller projects that would increase the quality of parks and recreation amenities for residents but may not happen without these additional funds, city officials explained. “Her vision was to actively engage the citizens of the City of Round Rock to join her in the quest to make the Park System one of the best in country,” officials explained.

Prete passed away in 2013, and the foundation sat idle until 2018. But then her son, Tony Prete, and his good friend, Joanne Land, a former Round Rock assistant city manager reinvigorated the efforts, officials said.

“I’m proud to carry on my mom’s legacy and am thrilled to take the reins of this important organization, Tony Prete, president of Waeltz & Prete, Inc. Civil Engineers, said in a prepared statement. He also is executive director of The People and Parks Fund. “I’m looking forward to engaging with the Round Rock community to fund additional park projects that will serve the community for years to come.”

He remembered his mom’s ambitious vision: “My mom always said if every Round Rock family donated $20 a year to the fund, think of the projects that could become a reality to serve our residents.” For more information or to donate to the People and Parks Fund, visit www.PeopleParksFund.org.

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