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EPA Awards Communities for Helping to Improve Quality of Life in Older Adults

Release Date: 02/08/2008
Contact Information: Shakeba Carter-Jenkins, (202) 564-4355 / carter-jenkins.shakeba@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Feb. 8, 2008) Seven winning communities and government agencies from around the country are the recipients of the first-ever new Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging award. This program recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth, thereby improving the quality of life of older residents.

By adopting smart growth principles, communities can design places that increase mobility and improve quality of life for older adults. Pedestrian-friendly, level walkways also increase access to these amenities and encourage older residents to walk to the doctor's office or local stores. By providing a range of housing opportunities, communities can enable residents to move within their neighborhood as their housing needs change. Such life-long residents help to establish a strong sense of place within a community. The benefits of building healthy communities for active aging are being realized in communities across the country.

Two categories of awards were made today. The Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific plan to implement smart growth and active aging principles. The Achievement Award will be given for overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

The 2007 Achievement Award winners are the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the city of Kirkland, Wash. The awards will be accepted by Chief of the Division of Aging Services for ARC Cathie Burger and by the Deputy Mayor of the City of Kirkland Joan McBride.

The 2007 Commitment Award winners included:

  • City of Rogers Adult Wellness Center, Arkansas
  • Carver County Public Health, Carver County, Minnesota
  • Town of Scarborough, Maine
  • Queen Anne's County Housing and Community Development, Maryland
  • Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas

EPA's Aging Initiative program spearheads the multi-agency effort, which was developed in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging, the National Blueprint Office and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Active for Life program.

More information on each winner: epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/2007/index.html