Association honors community’s environmental efforts
[VANCOUVER, BC]—The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) announces that its 2013 ICAA Innovators Green Award goes to The Windham at Fresno, an independent and assisted living community in Fresno, California, owned by Kisco Senior Living. Receiving honorable mention is Oak Hill Supportive Living, a Pathway Senior Living community in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, for its green construction and livable community. ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, presents its annual Innovators Awards to those that are leading the way in active aging, setting new standards and making a difference in the lives of older adults. The Green Award category recognizes organizations that encourage environmental stewardship.
The Windham’s Going Green and Recycling Initiative began when a neighbor approached the community about starting a recycling program. Together with her young children, this geologist-turned-stay-at-home-mom became a Windham volunteer and helped the community initiate the program. Not only did the resident council give the program its blessing, but a survey revealed that residents wanted a deeper understanding of what could be reused and recycled. Environmental education became the focus of intergenerational activities built upon the initiative, as did collaborations with community organizations. An Environmental Action and Awareness Committee also was formed to create a calendar of educational events.
In addition, The Windham decided to measure the impact of its efforts. In 2012, the community recycled more than 16,000 lbs. of paper, “saving 136 full-sized trees, 56,000 gallons of water and 24 cubic yards of landfill,” says Wellness Director Leah Kidwell. “We also recycled 300 lbs. of plastic, 880 lbs. of glass, 220 lbs. of tin and 120 lbs. of aluminum.” Kidwell adds that the community’s residents and staff take pride in their legacy of stewardship.
“ICAA recognizes that the environment, built or natural, has an enormous impact on people’s health and well-being,” states Founder and CEO Colin Milner. “So in 2010, we added the Green Award to honor organizations that encourage environmental stewardship—whether it be through green building, recycling, using eco-friendly cleaning products, or offering opportunities for people who want to make a difference.”
What is exciting in 2013, Milner notes, is to see increasing numbers of green initiatives becoming more deeply rooted and comprehensive. “Consider The Windham at Fresno,” he says. “Since its launch, the Going Green and Recycling Initiative has gained so much momentum that twice weekly pickups have turned into daily recycling. In addition, more residents, staff and outside volunteers now work together through the initiative. Yes, results include the amount of materials recycled. But they also include the activities offered and relationships forged, plus strengthened ties to the local community. On behalf of ICAA,” Milner adds, “I congratulate The Windham at Fresno on winning this year’s ICAA Innovators Green Award.”
Jim Gibson, Windham resident and member of the Environmental Action and Awareness Committee, notes that the committee’s goal is to make people aware of the very real environmental problems that exist and their impact. He agrees that The Windham’s recycling program “has helped people feel part of the community. They’re certainly contributing to the program,” he says, “because they are filling up all the bins.”
Like his fellow committee members, Gibson strives to alter engrained, everyday behaviors in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle—especially in relation to styrofoam. When asked how the program and being active in the committee has changed him, Gibson explains that he now makes it a point to be an example and make an impression on people with his personal, environmentally-friendly carryout boxes. In fact, the committee sold these boxes at The Windham’s Health and Wellness Family Fun Fair, held in September.
As a 2013 ICAA Innovator, The Windham at Fresno will receive a crystal award of recognition. A profile of the organization’s efforts will appear in ICAA’s flagship publication, the Journal on Active Aging®, in 2014.
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About the ICAA Innovators Awards program
The ICAA Innovators Awards honor those in the active-aging industry that are leading the way, setting new standards and making a difference in the lives of older adults. Established in 2003, this awards program honors excellence and creativity in three categories: ICAA Innovators Achievement Award, for programs and concepts that advance active aging; ICAA Innovators Practical Solutions Award, for creative products and services for active older adults; and ICAA Innovators Green Award, for environmental stewardship efforts. By recognizing cutting-edge programs, products and environments as well as those who developed them, ICAA highlights wellness solutions for industry leaders and governmental organizations to consider.
About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, an association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness; and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies. These include the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport, among others.
About The Windham at Fresno
Owned and operated by Kisco Senior Living in Carlsbad, California, The Windham is an independent and assisted living community offering a desirable north Fresno location close to shopping, medical centers and restaurants, as well as nearby cultural and recreational opportunities. The 10-acre, resort-like community includes apartment and patio homes, lush gardens, meandering pathways and three courtyards. The main courtyard features a heated swimming pool, shade trees, and a soothing fountain, while the assisted living courtyard has a charming gazebo where residents gather for fun and relaxation. At The Windham, Kisco’s Art of Living Well(SM) philosophy cultivates principles, values and beliefs to guide daily behavior. This award-winning, innovative approach to wellness engages residents and associates in six dimensions of wellness—physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and vocational—and promotes personal life balance for an optimistic “can-do”-attitude.
For interviews or more information about ICAA, the ICAA Innovators Awards program or aging-related issues, contact:
Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America only)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595
For information about The Windham at Fresno or The Windham’s recycling initiative, contact:
Leah Kidwell, Wellness Director, The Windham at Fresno
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