A task force will hold a quartet of meetings over a three-week period to inform area residents about an initiative to make Newberg "a great place for people of all ages and abilities to live," according to a press release.
The City for All Ages Task Force, made up of seven individuals with business and nonprofit backgrounds, is also seeking input from older adults on how best to "envision a well-designed, livable community moving forward," according to the release.
"There is a growing understanding that well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and that they make for healthier, happier residents of all ages over time, which is why we call our local initiative 'A City for All Ages,'" said Kathy Watson, a member of the task force and a representative of Providence Community Connections and Faith in Action.
Watson said that according to the task force, not only is the older segment of the community increasing, it is amassing more buying power than previous generations, at a time when Americans are enjoying good health after the age of 65.
"Task force members believe that we need to be contemplating not only what older adults could do with their financial assets, but also what they will be doing with this additional gift of time while observing that this cohort of people with tremendous life experience is settling in Newberg in slightly greater numbers than the national and state averages," Watson said. "Reasonable community-wide accommodation for older adults, or encouraging people to remain in Newberg as they age, is a sound economic strategy that benefits every demographic."
With the assumption that older adults will want to live, work, play and serve from within their community, the task force wants to determine where Newberg does well in that regard and where there is room for improvement. To that end the task force is soliciting input on eight "livability domains," including: outdoor spaces, transportation, housing, social participation, inclusion, civic engagement and employment, communication and support health services.
"The task force believes Newberg will be able to better shape places that work well for everyone across the lifespan, including those whose bodies or brains work differently, making this a more just and desirable environment for all, including, for example, moms with strollers and disabled veterans, too," Watson said.
The forums are set for 7 to 8 p.m., March 20 at Saint Michael's Church, 110 S. Everest Road; 3 to 4 p.m. March 22 at Chehalem Senior Center, 101 W. Foothills Drive; 9:30 to 11 a.m. March 24 at First United Methodist Church, 1205 Deborah Road; 1 to 3 p.m. April 5 at Grace Baptist Church, 1619 E. Second St.