We tend to think of playgrounds as just places for children, right?
Well, there's something starting in New York City and Buffalo to change that -- the cities are building playgrounds designed to attract adults in a social environment focused on physical fitness.
As a writer for Buffalo Rising put it, "The concept is so simple that I can't believe that it hasn't surfaced all across America."
There are no known plans to build an adult playground in Batavia, but one local woman has discovered an existing playground that goes a long way in filling the void, and she thinks other adults should join her in putting it to good use.
Batavia resident Nancy Gilmartin-Marchitte said she's been using the playground at the former Robert Morris School for several months for her own exercise routine and having a blast.
She and her husband like to run on the track at Woodward Field, and one day she spotted the rings at the playground and, with her love of gymnastics, she thought it would be fun to try them out.
From that initial experiment, she discovered the playground offered her several different fun and useful exercises.
"After coming here and doing my routines, I came to realize there are adult playgrounds all over now," said the 36-year-old Gilmartin-Marchitte.
In June 2011, Robert Morris opened the new playground paid for by a grant won from Pepsi.
Now, Robert Morris is no longer a school, and though the playground is still owned by the school district, it is open to the community, Business Administrator Scott Rozanski confirmed today.
"We made the decision to leave the playground for community use," Rozanski said.
While adult use hasn't yet been contemplated by district officials, he sees no reason adults couldn't exercise there so long as they didn't prevent children from playing and helped keep the equipment in good working order.
"I would expect an adult to use wisdom and not do anything that would damage the equipment," Rozanski said.
Gilmartin-Marchitte said she's worked up a whole routine for herself that, by making it a rigorous workout, not only exercises her arms, legs and torso, it also provides cardiovascular benefits.
Her routine includes, among other things, chin-ups, exercises on the rings (her favorite), balance walks, using the swing for her abs and the parallel bars.
"Going to the playground a few times a week and exercising on the rings and chin-up bar is not only a good exercise, but brings out the little girl in me," Gilmartin-Marchitte said.