Planking In And For Liberty State Park

August 16, 2016 Mel Kozakiewicz


On Saturday, August 20 at 9:00 am, teams of participants will spend the morning taking turns planking as part of a fundraising effort for Liberty State Park.

“I love Liberty State Park,” says Lissa Welles, volunteer and organizer of the upcoming fundraiser for the park, the Planks for the Park Plankathon. “I was looking for a way to contribute and get other people connected to the park. When we build a community together, we are invested in the long term outcomes. The larger connected community can then be active in stewardship for this park for generations to come.”

Teams will alternate between planking and resting (one minute each) for a full hour. According to Welles, participants can plank in any position, “Knees down, straight legs, side plank, whatever!”

Participants are encouraged to get sponsors during the lead-up to the event as a way to reach the $10,000 fundraising goal, but same-day registration is also available. As of Sunday evening, the group raised just over $1000.

“The funds raised will go toward planting trees and gardens in Liberty State Park through the Friends of Liberty State Park (FOLSP),” Welles tells JCI. “Did you know all of the gardens in the park have been funded throughout the years by the FOLSP? And FOLSP has funded planting over 800 trees!”

Lissa Welles demonstrates the forearm plank.

Lissa Welles demonstrates the forearm plank.

The FOLSP is an all-volunteer group and a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Officially-Recognized Friends Organization. Since 1988, they have preserved, conserved, protected and promoted the vast open space behind the Statue of Liberty. Through its garden volunteer & tree-planting programs, FOLSP has fostered the transformation of this once abandoned property from near ruin to an irreplaceable, national treasure whose commanding views of the harbor bring more and more visitors to the park every year.

“People can jump in and plank as many times as they want,” says Welles. “They can plank for 15 seconds, a full minute, or every minute. (There are 30 in total.) Or if someone is physically unable to plank, they can cheer on those who are planking, keeping us distracted and having fun! We need cheerleaders every bit as much as we need active plankers!”

The action will take place at the North field, near the 9/11 memorial. Participants should bring a water bottle and a mat, as well as “anything to keep it fun – music, bubbles, silly hats, et cetera!”

For more information, or to register, visit

Logo created by Samson Bainbridge, photo provided by Lissa Welles

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