Round Rock, Texas Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with the People and Parks Fund to bring Bench Fit by TrekFit signs and fitness program to Round Rock West Greenbelt. 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. Now residents 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.
This project 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. 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. 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.
People & Parks was established by Sharon Prete. Mrs. Prete 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. 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. 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.
In 2013, Sharon passed away and the foundation sat idle until 2018, when her son Tony Prete and good friend and former Round Rock Assistant City Manager Joanne Land reinvigorated the efforts.
“I’m proud to carry on my mom’s legacy and am thrilled to take the reins of this important organization”, said Tony Prete, President of Waeltz & Prete, Inc. Civil Engineers and 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. 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, residents may go to www.PeopleParksFund.org.