Priority Health Fitness Court® Opens in Upjohn Park

Published on October 11, 2022

Upjohn Fitness Court

The city of Kalamazoo is celebrating the grand opening of a free outdoor Fitness Court® in collaboration with Priority Health and the National Fitness Campaign (NFC). A ribbon cutting and community celebration will take place at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Kalamazoo’s Upjohn Park, located at 1000 Walter St. next to the Kik Pool.

This year, Kalamazoo was selected as a grant-eligible partner in the 2022 NFC/Priority Health Campaign and secured a $50,000 NFC/Priority Health grant to develop the Fitness Court. The 2022 campaign is part of a national movement to make fitness free and accessible in public spaces across the country.

“Kalamazoo is thrilled to have this free fitness facility for area residents,” said Patrick McVerry, director of parks and recreation for the city of Kalamazoo. “The gift of recreation has lifelong healing and health benefits. Parks and Recreation is dedicated to fostering a community that supports health and fitness.”

The new Fitness Court is an open-air wellness center that allows users to leverage their own body weight to get a complete workout. Created with adults of all ages in mind, the Fitness Court is adaptable for all fitness levels. The courts can also be used in group or solo settings with local volunteer ambassadors leading classes for groups. Users may download the free Fitness Court App which acts as a coach-in-your-pocket and enhances the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness experience. The Fitness Court App is available for iOS and Android.

“Priority Health is pleased to partner with the National Fitness Campaign to bring a new Fitness Court to Kalamazoo,” said Praveen Thadani, president of Priority Health. “Throughout our partnership with the National Fitness Campaign, we have aimed to fight obesity and support healthier lives in Michigan communities. Our hope is that the Kalamazoo Fitness Court will not only support free access to fitness but will also serve as a community gathering place.”

NFC developed the trademarked seven-station system in 2012 to inspire municipalities to transform public spaces into community fitness hubs. NFC currently has 250 active Fitness Court locations across the country, and the campaign will be operating in over 1,000 cities and colleges by the end of 2022. Priority Health and NFC have opened a Fitness Court is more than 15 communities in Michigan include Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Big Rapids and Saginaw.

“This is another arsenal in our efforts to ensure that Kalamazoo is a healthy community,” said David Anderson, mayor of the city of Kalamazoo. “Kalamazoo has several wonderful trails, parks and ways to get fit and maintain good health. The Fitness Court will provide our residents with free access to high-quality workouts and create equitable access to exercise for our community.”

For more information about the partnership between Priority Health and NFC or to inquire about funding, please visit

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans.  Serving more than one million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency, and product innovation.  Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health.

About NFC:

National Fitness Campaign (NFC) is a social enterprise – founded in San Francisco, California in 1979 – that specializes in funding, activating, and promoting healthy infrastructure through partnerships with cities and schools.  Now operating in over 150 cities, NFC's unique program delivers consulting services and an integrated wellness initiative to communities:  The Fitness Court®.  Our mission is to design healthy infrastructure for cities to improve the quality of life for people.  Learn more about NFC at and follow us on social @NatFitCampaign.

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