Three area cities join Raymore as Communities for All Ages
By Raymore Journal staff
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) honored three Kansas City region cities at the First Suburbs Coalition meeting for becoming more age friendly.
- Excelsior Springs, Missouri, achieved Gold Level status, which means the local governing body applied an “age lens” to a major city plan.
- Grain Valley, Missouri, earned Silver Level status, which required conducting a self-assessment of age-friendly policies and actions.
- Merriam, Kansas, will be recognized with a Bronze Level award for approving a resolution to demonstrate their city’s commitment to participate in the program and implementing age-awareness education activities with elected officials, city staff, committees and residents.
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 first-tier suburbs, help communities respond to a rapid increase in the older adult population, and make communities more welcoming for all age groups. The program is available to all jurisdictions in the nine-county MARC region.
Since the program’s inception, 19 local jurisdictions have been recognized for working to make their communities more age friendly.
Previous Communities for All Ages awards have gone to Grandview, Gladstone, Independence, Kearney, Lee’s Summit, Mission, North Kansas City, Raymore and Roeland Park (gold); Grain Valley and Liberty (silver); and Blue Springs, Johnson County, Olathe, Parkville, Peculiar and Raytown (bronze).
The program’s three sequential levels of achievement reflect increasing degrees of commitment to becoming a Communities 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 resident-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 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.
“Excelsior Springs is honored to receive the Communities for All Ages Gold designation. As we implement new policies and programs, using the age and ability lens is now an established good practice,” said Laura Mize, neighborhood specialist for Excelsior Springs. “We are excited about our next projects: an all-abilities and all-inclusive park and playground, and a task force dedicated to maintaining and developing services to our senior community.”
More information about the recognition program is available online at www.kccfaa.org.