ASHTABULA — Tim Davis and his four-legged friend Holly took a stroll Wednesday along Walnut Boulevard.

"We walk every day," said Davis, an Ashtabula resident. "I need the exercise and I enjoy the lake."

It's fairly easy to find a place to walk, run or bicycle for free — the Western Reserve Greenway Trail, Indian Trails Park, Lake Shore Park and more. But it's more difficult to find a place for strength building exercises.

Therein lies the problem for those who want to participate in fitness activities but can't afford a gym membership or just want to exercise outside.

But that may be changing.

Ashtabula city's Parks and Recreation Board on Monday will recommend City Council approve a 50-feet-by-50-feet exercise area at Walnut Beach, which will include calisthenic bars installed and paid for by the Iron Foundation.

The bars will be placed by the tire swing area at the beach.

John McCoy, of the Iron Foundation of Ashtabula, approached the parks and recreation board at its Aug. 6 meeting about the project.

"The Iron Foundation is an organization committed to creating fitness access through the construction of calisthenics parks in communities," he said. "We are a newer organization and are looking to extend our reach."

At the same meeting, the parks and recreation board decided to have city crews move the tire swings closer to the pirate ship playground equipment. 

Margaret Distler, of Ashtabula, requested the city set aside one of the Topky tennis courts for a pickle ball court. Board member Trevor Sprague motioned to recommend the change to city council. Mary Graves seconded the motion.

The board also discussed holding a kite festival at Walnut Beach at some point in the future.

Ashtabula City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at the Municipal Building.

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