Saturday saw the opening of the new fitness court at the Park District of Forest Park. Put this in the category of serendipity. 

Last fall representatives of the National Fitness Campaign reached out to park district staff, said they’d seen an aerial image of the park, liked its location and wanted to install an outdoor fitness court. 

The concept is fairly remarkable, and judging from the Saturday unveiling, likely to be popular. The small space includes seven well-labeled workout stations. Using a free app, visitors guide themselves to each station where they spend 45 seconds performing a specific movement. Allow 15 seconds between stations, and the Fitness Council says, you get a full body workout in seven minutes.

Talk about taking away any excuse for not exercising. 

Another cool feature of our always improving park district.

Thanks, Jerry

He’s one of those people who keep turning up in interesting places doing worthwhile work. Doesn’t want to be the star of the show. But it doesn’t keep him from being a quietly charismatic leader. “He lends his eloquence and wisdom to the proceedings,” is how John Rice described him in a 2016 profile in the Review. 

This is Jerry Lordan, an Oak Park guy with a real Forest Park affinity. He’s retiring this week from his main and paying gig, as a teacher and administrator at Fenwick High School. 

These days in Forest Park you’ll see Lordan’s steady hand in the work of the Historical Society and the Kiwanis Club. Both of these organizations have experienced near-death experiences over time. Lordan brings a calm perspective and great ability to find resources at critical moments for groups like these.

“If I have a talent,” Lordan told the Review, “I’m a pretty good listener and can keep my eye on long-term plans. I’m able to help people work together, remove obstacles and survive short-term setbacks.”

Those with more local history will remember Lordan from his four years in the late 1980s as principal at the old St. Bernardine School. Not surprisingly, Lordan is remembered as a constant presence on the playground, in classrooms, in the wider community. 

We’re hoping that Fenwick’s loss only enables our friend Jerry to be more present in his vital volunteer efforts in Forest Park and beyond.

Swimming with the Y

The West Cook YMCA keeps doing interesting and positive things in Forest Park and neighboring villages. 

New this summer are free swimming lessons at the Y for youngsters from Forest Park, Maywood and River Forest. If you have a second- or third-grade child enrolled in a public school, you are eligible.

Long seen as an Oak Park-centric institution, in recent years our Y has been living up to its wider West Cook promise. And for that we are thankful.