Island Vibes Jan 2024

courts. We’ve done a lot of work on the dog park. We very much appreciate it on top of all the festivals and festivities and farmers markets and everything else you guys do.” Ferrell in turn thanked city council for their support and helping the center provide these facilities to the community. “We are so happy to be here and able to provide all these outdoor opportunities for our residents,” she said. “And to visitors alike.” The rec center Fitness Court is just the second to be established in South Carolina, and more are scheduled to open in 2024. NFC’s goal is to fund a free outdoor fitness court within a 10-minute bike ride of every American by 2030. visit all eight Alaskan national parks in 21 days. “That to me was a trip of a lifetime,” asserted Nagel. It was also the state where Nagel saw her favorite national park—the wild, rugged and scenic 13.2-million-acre Wrangell St. Elias, the largest of the national parks. “It was very remote, and I think I just got overwhelmed by the size,” recounted Nagel. However, she added, “for such a big park it was accessible. So you could hike a glacier.” The odyssey also produced hidden gems like California’s 26,000-acre Pinnacles National Park, where she glimpsed 15 California condors, a critically-endangered species. Then there were the underrated parks that shattered her presumptions, such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Part of the reason Nagel enjoys telling her story, which she has shared at libraries and with various women’s organizations, is that national parks are fairly inexpensive, beautiful places to learn about who we are as a nation. It’s been a poignant and enriching experience. “I’ve cried at every park,” reflected Nagel. “I’m just so proud of this country.” The National Park Service manages 428 individual sites, including monuments, battlefields and historic sites, 63 of which are designated as national parks. “The 63 national parks are the crown jewels of the national park system,” stated Nagel. “Those parks belong to you and I.” Although Nagel is married with three grown children, this was something she desired to do on her own. “This is for me,” she said. Nagel scheduled her trip itineraries in the off-season when schools were in session and planned them in segments to maximize efficiency, knocking out several parks over a week to 10 days. She utilized her own planning except for Alaska, a state which presents unique logistical challenges. In 2019 she booked a trip through Anchorage Tours to 16 SPORTS The ribbon cutting ceremony held Dec. 15. Recreation Center’s new outdoor gym a ‘fitness hub’ By Colin McCandless Mission Accomplished: Resident achieves national parks bucket list goal By Colin McCandless Civic leaders, recreation staff, first responders and community members gathered at the IOP Recreation Center Dec. 15 to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the opening of the facility’s new outdoor gym, the Fitness Court. The court is a capital project of the National Fitness Campaign (NFC), an interdisciplinary team of partnership builders, designers and consultants on a mission to improve health and wellness outcomes in America. NFC partners with municipalities, schools and sponsors nationwide to plan, build and fund healthy communities and provide free access to world class fitness. The City of Isle of Palms, along with other municipalities across the country, was awarded a $30,000 grant from NFC to help fund the Isle of Palms resident Christine Nagel didn’t realize when she visited Acadia National Park in 2012 that it would eventually spur a personal bucket list aspiration of seeing all 63 of America’s national parks. Candidly, she just wanted to tour Maine and eat some lobster. “I didn’t have it in my head at the time that I would go on this sojourn,” recalled Nagel. But over the course of eight years of solo travels Nagel would continually build and expand upon that first national park experience, culminating in C installation of the Fitness Court. City council matched the NFC grant to help bring the free workout area to the rec center. The Fitness Court is an adaptive body weight circuit training system featuring seven movements for everyday health: core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend. It is designed to provide a full body workout rotating through all seven zones. A participant will find exercises on the sides of the back walls, along with muscle groups worked. The Fitness Court also comes with a free app that will provide a coach at your fingertips. It includes full workouts for all levels of fitness or movements for each station. Participants can also take part in challenges with other fitness court users across the country. NFC patented the court design and developed the app that people can download to augment the experience. “This project was important to me and staff to allow the recreation department to be the fitness hub of the island. Giving everyone an opportunity for fitness,” said IOP Rec Department director Karrie Ferrell. “The Fitness Court is designed for all age groups and all levels of fitness. It can be a quick workout for a busy fitness enthusiast or designed for someone starting their fitness journey.” Ferrell added that once the weather warms up, rec center staff will offer classes and programs at the Fitness Court. “There’s been a lot going on at the rec center in the last year or so,” noted Mayor Phillip Pounds, who introduced Ferrell at the ribbon cutting and thanked her and the rec center staff for their leadership and commitment to improving and enhancing rec center amenities. “We just did a ribbon cutting during the spring for the pickleball courts and the newly-refurbished basketball I her October 2023 trip to see the Gateway Arch and Hot Springs national parks, numbers 62 and 63, respectively. Nagel, a retired Corning Inc. executive and U.S. Army veteran who bought a home on IOP in 2004 and splits her time between here and the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, appreciates how welcoming people are on the island. “I just love it down here. People are so good to me even though I’m a transient,” she said. Prior to her milestone-setting adventure, Nagel had been no stranger to traversing the globe. As plant manager and later worldwide manufacturing and engineering manager for Corning, she frequently traveled abroad to Asia, Europe and South Africa. When she retired, Nagel yearned to see more of this country. She chose the national parks as her ambitious target destinations. Nagel at Channel Islands National Park in California. Nagel in front of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.