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Free Outdoor Fitness for All: Empowering the Community through Wellness Opportunities


Nestled between Washington, D.C. and Virginia's state capital, Richmond, lies the historic town of Dumfries, Virginia. Known for its rich tradition and heritage, Dumfries is now gaining recognition for its forward-thinking Town Council and its Mayor, Derrick Wood. With a passion for health and wellness, Mayor Wood and the Town Council are revolutionizing the town by introducing the state's first Fitness Court® Studio, the world’s best outdoor gym.

A Commitment to Community Health

Mayor Wood, a proud Dumfries resident and former United States Marine, has long been dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles within the town. Recognizing the lack of convenient and affordable workout options, he set out to bring fitness equipment closer to home. After receiving an email about grant funding from the Virginia Municipal League, Mayor Wood seized the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the community.

Discovering the Fitness Court® Studio

That email from the Virginia Municipal League led Mayor Wood to reach out to the National Fitness Campaign to learn more about their innovative Fitness Court® Studio concept. The Fitness Court® Studio provides over 2,000 square feet of wellness infrastructure. It includes an edge-to-edge art mural as a studio classroom backdrop and brings the opportunity to host yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi classes and more to coincide with the seven movement full body workout on the opposite side. Every Fitness Court® is digitally activated through the free Fitness Court® App which serves as a coach-in-your-pocket.

Enthralled by the idea of an accessible outdoor gym offering a total body workout with programmable classroom space, Mayor Wood knew this was the perfect amenity to bring to Dumfries. 

A Community Effort

Gaining unanimous approval from the Town Council was a natural progression for Mayor Wood's vision. He explains, "Based on our comprehensive plan and resolutions that are already passed, the fitness court studio already aligned with the vision, support was easy." The town's focus on a healthy eating and active living community created a solid foundation of support.

Unveiling a Game-Changer

The Fitness Court® Studio offers more than just a place to exercise; it creates a vibrant space for wellness and community engagement. The inclusion of yoga and Zumba classes, led by enthusiastic instructors from the area, is bound to attract a diverse range of fitness enthusiasts. The Mayor's goal is to collaborate with local organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club, local personal trainers, and the town’s Parks & Recreation Department, to develop ongoing programming that maximizes the Fitness Court® Studio’s full potential.

Embracing the Benefits

Mayor Wood understands that investments in community amenities can have a significant impact on residents' quality of life. By showcasing the tangible benefits of tax dollars at work, he is fostering a sense of pride and ownership among community members. Every Fitness Court® is digitally connected to a free to download mobile app, ensuring that any adult – regardless of age, fitness level or ability – can access hundreds of workouts and track progress, empowering individuals to take charge of their fitness journey.

A Vision for a Prosperous Destination

Mayor Wood's vision extends beyond the Fitness Court® Studio. He envisions Dumfries as a thriving destination where people can live, work, and play in harmony. By providing accessible and engaging fitness options, he is paving the way for a healthier and happier community for generations to come. The Mayor's commitment to combating the mental health crisis, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic, further emphasizes his dedication to overall well-being.

Advice from Mayor Wood

Reflecting on his successful endeavor, Mayor Wood offers advice to others looking to make a positive impact in their communities. He encourages civic and education leaders to align their vision and mission with available resources, explore sponsorship opportunities, and prioritize budget allocation. In a time when mental and physical health is at the forefront of public consciousness, Mayor Wood emphasizes the importance of incorporating wellness initiatives into community development plans.

Maintaining the Momentum:

Ensuring the Fitness Court® Studio’s ongoing vitality is a priority for Mayor Wood and the town. All costs related to the studio and beautification around the structure have been committed beyond the initial grant. The Fitness Court® Studio’s establishment was funded through the town’s general fund, showcasing Dumfries' dedication to wellness.

Choosing the Perfect Location

Selecting the ideal location for the Fitness Court® Studio was a crucial step. Mayor Wood reveals, "We chose the location for highest density, best walkability in town." This strategic decision ensures that the fitness amenities are easily accessible to all residents, promoting inclusivity and community engagement.

Promoting the Fitness Court® Studio

Informing the community about the new Fitness Court® Studio was a priority for Mayor Wood and his team. They utilized a variety of channels, including newsletters, the town's website, and active social media presence. Local and regional news coverage also helped spread the word, fostering excitement and interest within the community.


Through the introduction of the Fitness Court® Studio, Mayor Derrick Wood has not only provided Dumfries residents with a state-of-the-art outdoor gym but also sparked a passion for health and wellness within the community. By highlighting the Mayor's dedication to promoting accessible fitness options and the positive impact on residents' lives, Dumfries serves as a shining example of how investment in wellness opportunities can create a prosperous and vibrant town for all.