To the Editor:
On Oct. 18, Tracy Raoul, president of the Jackson Park Golf Association and I had the honor of presenting our Jackson Park renewal and reactivation proposal to about 100 members of the Montgomery Place senior community.
Montgomery Place overlooks the 57th Street Beach and the Iowa Building in Jackson Park with its many blocks of walking paths and green space. Montgomery Place residents are a community of seniors, alive with intellectual curiosity and accumulated knowledge.
They were the leaders of our community and of the University of Chicago. I listened to countless inspiring stories of the challenges they overcame and the community problems they had solved. They want to stay purposefully involved with their community.
Research shows that seniors living with a purpose, socially interacting with others, having curiosity, being physically active, being out in green space, and continuing life-long learning are age positively. The phrase “If you don’t use it, you lose it” accurately describes the aging process. Both JPAC and JPGA have many senior participants and both encourage our senior participants to stay active in the work of the organization. Disabilities make it more difficult to reach the park, and remember all the facts, but adaptations and volunteer assistance keep members involved and active in the park.
Today we are calling on other organizations to reach out and involve seniors in their organizations. All seniors may not be able to afford the wonderful aging programs like the Village or Montgomery Place, so volunteers are needed to reach out to less abled seniors.
Organizations like the Chicago Park District do reach out and improve the activity and quality of life of seniors. Organizations like JPAC and JPGA that commit to involvement and inclusion of aging seniors also improve the quality of their lives and the quality of life in our diverse community. Hopefully we will all be active and positive seniors.