Opinion

Five ways to stay active in the upcoming year

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Happy midwinter! No doubt about it, time is marching on for all of us. So it is time to bring everyone up to date on what will be happening in the upcoming year for people who want to stay active, connected, engaged and have fun in our region (and who doesn’t?).

1. High on my list is the highly anticipated opening of the Commons at Central Hall. Yes, we are anticipating we will open for events very soon with a grand opening event planned for mid-May! The beautiful renovated space will include the Commons Event Center on the second floor which will be managed by Center Theatre and the Senior Commons, a community center with special opportunities for older adults who want to come together for socializing, meals and activities. If you are interested in being part of planning the programming and direction of the Senior Commons, there is a local steering committee and they welcome input and direction.

2. The Thriving in Place Collaborative has completed its 3-year project to bring together over 60 individuals and organizations to network and support a more thriving community for our aging population. Although the grant is completed, the collaborative members, recognizing the value of their ongoing work, will continue to meet to explore possibilities for engaging and helping older adults to thrive in place, under the leadership of the Maine Highlands Senior Center and Penquis/Charlotte White Center.

3. AARP Age Friendly Communities — four local communities (Dover-Foxcroft, Dexter, Milo and Greenville) have joined the AARP Age Friendly network. This involved a commitment by local individuals and by the towns’ leadership to make their towns more “age friendly” by exploring needs in eight domains of living such as transportation, affordable housing, parks and recreation, community infrastructure, communication, etc. Each town makes its own list of priorities. Several towns are having regular monthly “coffee talks” where interesting speakers come and present different topics while people enjoy camaraderie, conversation and refreshments. Join in your community steering group or come have fun at the coffee talks.

4. Community Conversations — this is a series of five conversations scheduled around a delicious meal led by youth and adult co-facilitators which explore possibilities for creating a more engaged, connected community for all ages, sponsored by the Senior Commons of Maine Highlands Senior Center. The first series in Dover-Foxcroft wrapped up in December. Three new series will be starting in Guilford, Dexter and Milo in the coming months. We are looking for interested participants. Keep your eyes out for more details.

5. Walk and Thrive Club — an informal group of people who like to walk and talk with other people in Dover-Foxcroft. This cold winter has been tough-things are on hold right now, but over time this group is hoping to become “a thing” for people to find new trails and new walking partners. Spring will be here before you know it. New trails are being developed at the Law Farm and other local trails such as Brown Mills and the PRYMCA trails are being spruced up with signage and benches.

For more information or if you are interested in being part of any of these programs, contact Tara Smith, program coordinator Senior Commons, at 343-3018.

It’s good to be back!

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