The city of Independence is pleased to announce that it has been recognized for its work to create a Community for All Ages. Independence received a Gold level recognition, which acknowledges the work the city has done to become more age friendly.
The cities of Independence, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Peculiar were recognized as “Communities for All Ages.” The cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit received both silver and gold level designations, and North Kansas City and Peculiar both attained the Bronze level. The cities were recognized at the First Suburbs Coalition meeting on Friday, Jan. 18.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program was developed by the First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages — two groups convened by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) to develop programs and tools to support older, first-tier suburbs; help communities respond to the rapid increase in the older adult population; and make communities more welcoming for all age groups.
The first Communities for All Ages awards were presented in May 2015. Previous awards have gone to Gladstone, Kearney, Mission and Raymore (gold); Excelsior Springs, Liberty, and Roeland Park (silver); Blue Springs, Grandview and Raytown (bronze).
The recognition program’s three sequential levels of achievement reflect increasing degrees of commitment to becoming a Community for All Ages. The Bronze level recognizes heightened awareness of the issues and requires a resolution or commitment by the city’s elected body, along with community presentations and public engagement. The Silver level adds the completion of an assessment process and requires the community to appoint a citizen-based committee to assess related city activities and investments. Gold, the highest level, recognizes communities that formally adopt a Communities for All Ages plan based on the assessment completed at the Silver level. Communities can maintain their recognition status by advancing to higher levels or, once the Gold level is achieved, continuing to implement new elements of their plans.
“We are honored to receive the Gold and Silver designations as a ‘Community for All Ages’,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “This program has allowed our community to start a conversation about the changing demographics of the region. We are committed to shaping a community that is accessible to all of our residents and the steps we take under this program will help guide us toward that future.”
The Truman Heartland Community Foundation has played an integral role in the support of the Community For All Ages initiatives in Eastern Jackson County.
“The Truman Heartland Community Foundation is committed to helping Baby Boomers connect with their community and the tenants of the Community for All Ages program work hand-in-hand with this goal,” Truman Heartland President and CEO Phil Hanson said. “We are proud to work with the City of Independence as we create a community that allows our seniors to age in place with dignity and opportunity.”
More information about the recognition program is available online at www.kccfaa.org.