Why workouts in Huntsville’s Conroy Park could boost COVID-19 recovery

Why workouts in Huntsville’s Conroy Park could boost COVID-19 recovery

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An early morning workout at Conroy Park in Huntsville was more than a business decision for a local gym in the COVID-19 era.

“We applaud the Town of Huntsville’s decision to waive public space usage fees,” said Lorraine van Luit, co-owner of Motivations Fitness. “Our belief has always been that staying active and engaged are essential to mental and physical wellness for all ages.”

Tweaks to town rules by council in late June allowed Huntsville health, recreation, culture or wellness sector businesses to apply for free conditional use of town parks, as a means to support businesses that faced restrictions on indoor activity because of the crisis.

It was one of several decisions made by town officials as part of the municipality’s broader COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

But van Luit hinted the support for businesses also supported residents by ensuring services remained available.

“For the last four months we have worked to provide free Facebook classes and online workouts to anyone who is interested, but we are excited that this decision provides us with other options,” she said.

Lorrie O’Brien, director of community services for the town, had told council several businesses had asked for use of parks.

“This is something we feel the town could support to help fitness and wellness businesses,” she said.

Conditions stated only existing local businesses could apply for two-hour use with groups no larger than 10, and they must share the space with other park visitors.

A commercial park permit would have cost businesses $31 per hour.

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