Written By: Katie Harris
Seniors across the city of Philadelphia are lacing up their walking shoes this weekend for the third annual Senior Strut.
Fairmount Park Conservancy, in conjunction with Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, are putting on the event. Over 500 senior citizens are expected to turn out for the one-mile walk and health fair.
In 2012, PCA found that even with the wealth of parks, trails, and open public spaces to which Philadelphia lays claim, seniors are underutilizing the resources. In fact, 72% of older adults in Philadelphia reported they had not gone to a public recreational facility within the past year!
“We looked at that data and it got us thinking,” says Meg Holscher, Senior Director of Development at Fairmount Park Conservancy. “We wanted to know how we could make our public spaces safer and more inviting for people in Philadelphia of all ages.”
In partnership with many organizations and agencies across the city, they set out to answer that exact question. Focus groups with seniors were planned to see what needs were not yet being addressed, and how parks and public space could be more suitable for seniors.
One notable lesson learned was that seniors wanted to share their experience with others, so the groups developed strategies to better publicize existing walking groups and connect seniors to walking groups near where they lived.
Even better, the partners thought; let’s bring all Philadelphia seniors out on one day to catalyze the energy and excitement about a walkable, age-friendly city! And Senior Strut was born.
Joan Zaremba, director of marketing and corporate relations with PCA, says that various organizations and agencies in Philadelphia are working hard to ensure that Philadelphia is a good city to age in. She says that events like Senior Strut are a fitting example of the excellent work that can be done when groups partner to achieve shared goals.
The event will kick off at 9:30 a.m. this Friday, Oct. 9. The Mummers string band will lead the walk along Kelly Drive, starting from and returning to Lloyd Hall. The walk will be followed by a health fair with 25 different vendors and a demo stage with fun demonstrations and information being presented.
You can find more information here: http://www.pcacares.org/strut/.
Photo Credit: Fairmount Park Conservancy
Frankford Creek Trail - Feasibility Study - September 30, 6-7pm, Juniata Golf Course, 1391 E. Cayugo
East-West Fairmount Park - Community Vision Meeting - Sept. 30th and October 2nd
Community Vision Plan for East and West Park meetings
Tuesday, September 24th
Cornerstone Baptist Church
33rd and Diamond St, Strawberry Mansion
Wednesday, September 25th
John Anderson Cultural Center
5301 Overbrook Ave, Wynnefield
Monday, September 30th
Discovery Charter School
4700 Parkside Ave, West Parkside
Wednesday, October 2nd
1 Boathouse Row, just off Kelly Drive
Refreshments 6-6:30 PM
Program 6:30 - 8:30 PM
RSVP: [email protected]
Special thanks to Philadelphia Parks and Recreation staff. Shortly after the Bicycle Coalition made a request to have vegetation cut back along the Belmont Avenue sidepath between Wynnefield Avenue and St. Georges Hill Drive, PPR responded exactly as hoped. The vegetation was overrunning that stretch leaving only two feet of clear space. Now you can ride on the original eight foot path without fear of being smacked in the face by vines or tipping over into the street. Thank you Parks and Rec for improving this stretch of the sidepath!
An early goal of closing the gaps of the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia was to create a bikeable route to Bartram's Garden, one of the City's hidden jewels. Tucked into Southwest Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River, Bartram's Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the John Bartram Association in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia.
Bartram’s Garden is best known as the home, farm, and garden of John Bartram (1699-1777), a Quaker farmer who became America’s first naturalist botanist and plant explorer.
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Bartram's Garden and Schuylkill River Development Corporation are working to transform a mile of underutilized river frontage into two trail segments that will connect Bartram's Garden to the Gray's Ferry Bridge to the north and 58th Street to the south.
The public is invited to attend any one of four upcoming events to visit the area and give ideas on developing these trail segments.
Walking Tour - Sunday, October 28, 2-4pm (meet at Bartram's Garden Trail Head)
Bike Tour - November 3, 1:30-4pm (meet at Bartram's Farm for its Fall Harvest Day)
Dinner Conversation - November 5, 6-8pm (Bartram's Garden)
Design Workshop - November 10, 12-3pm (Bartram's Garden)
RSVP: [email protected] or 215-573-8720 or provide input online www.planphilly.com/bartramsmile