On Friday, June 17, the Mid-America Regional Council recognized the cities of Blue Springs, Gladstone, Mission, Liberty, Raymore and Roeland Park as “Communities for All Ages.” The awards were presented at a meeting of the First Suburbs Coalition at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive, Roeland Park, Kansas.
Gladstone earned the KC Communities for All Ages Gold award and Mission received the Silver award. Blue Springs, Liberty, Raymore and Roeland Park all achieved the Bronze level.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program was developed by the First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages — two groups convened by 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, when Gladstone attained the Silver level, and Grandview, Raytown and Mission all earned the Bronze level.
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.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program encourages communities to respond positively to changing demographics and adopt policy and program approaches that make the region a great place to live and age well.
“Becoming a Community for All Ages benefits all of our residents — not only older adults, but children and people of all ages and abilities.” said Alan Napoli, building official in Gladstone. “Gladstone is proud to incorporate age-friendly principles in our comprehensive plan, and we look forward to the improvements this will bring to our city in both the short- and long-term.”
More information about the recognition program is available online at www.kccfaa.org.