2011 Burke-West Springfield Center Without Walls Receives EPA Award
The Burke-West Springfield Center Without Walls, a partnership between Neighborhood and Community Services and the local community was awarded a 2010 Commitment Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. The Commitment Award recognizes communities that are planning for and beginning to integrate smart growth and active aging. The Burke-West Springfield Center Without Walls is a network of organizations and community volunteers who lead and implement activities for seniors in these specific communities. The entire process is resident-driven, increasing community buy-in and ensuring that the public remains engaged in further development decisions and processes. The Burke-West Springfield Senior Center Without Walls also takes a smart growth approach to delivering programs. The program utilizes existing non-governmental facilities (places of worship, community rooms, local businesses, etc.) to operate programs. These organizations have donated their space for free. Members of the program lead classes, publicize events, manage the website, serve volunteer building directors, and assist with registration. The program has served over 300 older adults since 2009. Over 30 volunteers and over 20 different organizations support the Center Without Walls. Because of these citizens' efforts, combined with those of the numerous partners, the Center is a true example of a community-based project.
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