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Ashland Senior Center Celebrates New Outdoor Activity Space

Grand Opening of Outdoor Activity Space at Ashland Senior Center
 
The Senior Services Division of Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission (APRC) is hosting a gathering on October 14, 2-3:30 p.m. to celebrate a newly created outdoor activity space adjacent to the Ashland Senior Center at 1699 Homes Avenue in Hunter Park. Seniors, their families, and interested community members are invited to celebrate with music by local cellist Daniel Sperry, refreshments, and time to visit with friends. RSVPs appreciated at 541.488.5342 or seniorinfo@ashland.or.us.

This new space was funded by an Age-Friendly Communities Grant from AARP Oregon. “We were thrilled to receive this grant to construct an outdoor activity space next to Ashland Senior Center,” said Isleen Glatt, APRC Senior Services Superintendent. “The new venue will support expanded outdoor programming for seniors and other community events. It also will be a safe space for senior activities and social connections to thrive even when pandemic conditions prevent indoor gathering.”

Instructors who offer fitness and movement classes at the Senior Center appreciate the fact that the new outdoor activity space has a level, stable floor surface. And an ADA compliant entry improves access to social and cultural events formerly held on the uneven lawn.

AARP Age-Friendly Communities Grants are designed to help communities to become more livable for residents of all ages. The grants fund innovative projects that inspire change in transportation, public spaces, diversity and inclusion, civic engagement, and more.

The grant application was supported by class instructors, the Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, and the Livable Ashland Alliance. The Livable Ashland Alliance formed in early 2020 after the City of Ashland joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. The steering committee for the Alliance, with representatives of over 12 key organizations in Ashland, including APRC’s Senior Services Division, chose “Livable Ashland Alliance” as its name to emphasize its goal of fostering collaborative, intergenerational initiatives. The new outdoor activity space is an early win in the work of the Livable Ashland Alliance to improve livability for all members of the Ashland community.

Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission, led by its Ashland Senior Advisory Committee, initiated the application to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities in 2019.  The City Council and Mayor endorsed the application as part of their goal to become an all-age friendly community.  Ashland was accepted into the Network in early 2020. Joining the AARP Network provides ideas, models, resources, and grant opportunities. 

The AARP framework focuses on eight domains to improve livability.  The outdoor activity space created at Ashland Senior Center addresses the domains of Outdoor Spaces, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, and Community and Health Services.

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