Home Culture Hoboken to Continue Fitness in the Park, Details to Follow

Hoboken to Continue Fitness in the Park, Details to Follow

by Victoria Marie Moyeno
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Fitness in the Park has always been an indication that spring has sprung here in Hoboken. Local fitness studios were permitted to host free outdoor classes for residents along the pier. This especially became a vital activity during the COVID pandemic as people were looking for outdoor, socially-distanced activities to partake in. Since then, several statewide regulations have been lifted, including the ban on in-person fitness classes. It was reported that outdoor paid classes were being discontinued and not going to take place this season. However, a local yoga studio, as well as residents, have expressed that they wish for the paid program to continue, and the Mayor has made a decision in response to the demand.

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One of the Hoboken studios that has publicly expressed interest in the continuation of the paid portion of Fitness in the Park is Asana Soul Practice located at 411 Jefferson Street. The yoga studio started a petition in favor of the program’s reinstatement and called for residents to sign it if they agreed so it could be presented to the City.

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The petition states, “We’re always looking to put the public health and interests of the community first. The outdoor class program in Hoboken has been discontinued. In order to help bring them back, we’re asking for your help! Let the city of Hoboken know you want outdoor programming (for kids and adults alike).” As of April 20th, 179 people have signed it.

Editor’s note: the free program was not in danger of discontinuation — just the public outdoor space that fitness studios had to pay for to host paid classes.

We chatted with the founder of Asana Soul Practice for more insight and she explained, ” We reached out in March with hopes to reserve a space/get a permit to do outdoor classes. We were told that the program was discontinued due to complaints about the use of public space. I then sent an email to the mayor explaining the importance of outdoor programming to the community, and the many requests/inquiry’s regarding outdoor classes we had been receiving. I didn’t hear back (after about 2 weeks). So that’s when we decided to do the petition. The petition worked! About 4-5 days after posting the petition we heard back from the mayor’s office that they wanted to help, but needed to work through the details.”

She continued to explain that the City proposed a fee of $50 an hour but she responded that that is too high and proposed a monthly fee of $200 a month. “So, they need to land on a proposed fee and take a vote before it’s really official.”

We reached out to City Hall for insight on the program’s status and Communications Manager, Marilyn Baer, told HG, “While the outdoor fitness program was originally provided as a pandemic related concession, Mayor Bhalla has heard the feedback from the community and supports the continuation of the Fitness in the Park series. Over the past two weeks, he has been working to craft legislation that would formalize the program. He looks forward to outdoor fitness classes continuing in the coming weeks.”

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With legislation in progress in favor of Fitness in the Park’s reinstatement, we will keep you updated as more details unfold in the coming weeks.

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