DOVER -- The Dover Parks and Recreation Department will unveil the new Walking and Fitness Path on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 to 11 a.m. with a ribbon cutting and open house to display the fitness facilities to the public.

The new Fitness Path is a paved track that surrounds the children's playground area of the City Park just off North Wooster Avenue. Unique to the Dover Fitness Path is a collection of eight pieces of exercise equipment designed to provide cardio and strengthening exercises using equipment such as a leg press, rowing machine, and an elliptical machine among others.

The Union Hospital Community Health and Wellness staff is partnering with the Parks and Recreation Department to encourage use of the new facilities for better health. UH nurses will be on hand to register people for the Community Walking Program and offer free health screenings and raffle prizes. Richard Homrighausen, mayor of Dover, will officiate at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

According to Scott Jerles, Dover director of Parks and Recreation, the idea for the fitness path project stemmed from the city employees' involvement with the Union Hospital WorkWell Employee Wellness and Occupational Medicine program. City employees are encouraged to walk for health and exercise to improve their fitness and lower health risk factors.

"We thought it was a great way to get the community involved and that it would be a unique addition to the Dover Park," Jerles said. "Since the path surrounds the playground, parents and grandparents can exercise while keeping a close eye on playing children."

Funds for the $25,000 fitness path were provided in part through a grant from the Reeves Foundation. The City of Dover paid for the equipment installation and concrete.

According to Jerles, the fitness equipment may be used by anyone aged 13 and older. Those walking for fitness will cover a mile by completing seven laps of the walking path surrounding the playground.

"I think it's a great addition, and, from what I've seen so far, a lot of people are already taking advantage of it," Jerles said.