Fairfield free outdoor fitness programming to expand in 2021: How to get involved

The Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department started Yoga on the Green during the 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic as a way to keep residents active and engaged while adhering to then-mandated state protocols and guidelines. The city plans to implement more free outdoor exercise activities at other parks. PROVIDED/CITY OF FAIRFIELD
The Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department started Yoga on the Green during the 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic as a way to keep residents active and engaged while adhering to then-mandated state protocols and guidelines. The city plans to implement more free outdoor exercise activities at other parks. PROVIDED/CITY OF FAIRFIELD

Credit: City of Fairfield

Credit: City of Fairfield

Weather permitting, Yoga on the Green events to take place on Wednesdays through August.

Whenever the weather cooperates, Fairfield’s free weekly outdoor fitness program will return for 2021.

The programming began with Yoga on the Green last year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic as most of the city parks department’s traditional programming was forced to shut down or face significant restrictions.

“It was great because it was the only thing that people could do and feel safe,” Ann Colaco, Fairfield’s Fitness & Wellness programmer, said of Yoga on the Green. “It was very well attended.”

The outdoor program brought those experienced and inexperienced with yoga together, and participants from little kids to older adults attended the weekly summer exercise event, said Colaco. About 30 people attended the weekly 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday event.

The first two scheduled Yoga on the Green events this year were rained out, but they will take place weekly through August.

Colaco said based on last year’s attendance numbers, the program will grow.

“I feel like it revved up last year as the summer went on and people told everybody,” she said, adding it will be difficult to tell how many people will join in on the first couple of classes. “We might get a big turnout or it might take a while to get back into it.”

The parks department is planning to expand its outdoor fitness classes, Colaco said. Soon, residents could see pop-up fitness classes outdoors at various city parks, she said.

“Some of my other instructors who can’t commit to a full-on schedule, to try to utilize some of the other parks as well, maybe just have a REFIT class, and we might have some other yoga classes at different places around the city,” Colaco said.

Fairfield Programs & Events Superintendent Cindi Lewellyn said the pop-up classes will vary from park-to-park, as well as types of classes.

“It’ll be at a different day of the week and at a different time so we can reach more participants, more audience, and get people into our neighborhood parks and have more opportunity for programs,” she said.

Fairfield returned to a modified parks department programming in July 2020 and developed a health program at the Community Arts Center with protocols in place. However, the city was restricted on the number of participants.

But as the calendar flipped to 2021, Lewellyn said “we continued that growth.”

With increased participation in the city’s fitness and wellness, as well as arts and summer camps programming, it shows “they’re itching to get out,” Lewellyn said. “They are ready to get out and do something.”

Colaco said it’s good to be getting back to a regular schedule as vaccinations rise and COVID-19 cases decline.

“We slugged along for a while,” she said of navigating health protocols and restrictions. “It’s really nice to see people come back out, and they’re excited to be here.”