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Illinois Parks & Recreation
May/June 1995 • Volume 26, Number 3

IAPD and IDOA Recognized by
The Presidents Council
on Physical Fitness & Sports
From left to right: Olympian Ralph Boston, spokesman for The President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports; Maralee I, Lindley, IDOA Executive Director; Dr. Ted Flickinger, IAPD Executive Director.

The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and The Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA) received Silver Eagle Corps Leadership Recognition from The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) for their cooperative efforts in promoting the essential nature of exercise for performance, safety, health and successful aging for older Americans.

The Silver Eagle Corps is the title of the leadership element of PCPFS's campaign to promote physical activity and fitness for America's age 50 and above population. This national honor recognizes organizations that demonstrate leadership and a commitment to the essential nature of fitness activities for older adults; have policies which exemplify the ideals of healthy aging; provide significant public service at the grassroots level toward this end; and, develop models that other communities may adopt for the encouragement of daily physical activity for all people.

"Physical activity is increasingly valued as having considerable impact on the ability to perform daily tasks effectively and safely, as well as impacting on major health concerns and quality of life," states The President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. "As the lead area of concern in Healthy People 2000, physical activity has the ability to profoundly influence our work. the way we value our contributions to society and our individual and collective capacity to deal with chronic illness and the aging process."

Recognizing the impact of the Age Wave, the Illinois Association of Park Districts and The Department on Aging began their partnership in January 1994 and have since undertaken many initiatives to address quality of life issues for Illinois' older population.

"By the year 2010, 77 million Baby Boomers are expected to reach AARP-age (50)," explains IAPD Executive Director Dr. Ted Flickinger. "Today's 'senior citizen' expects much more from the post-retirement period than playing cards and bingo. Physically and cognitively challenging lifestyles are becoming the norm for older adults. The Illinois Association of Park Districts and The Department on Aging see the demands of this growing segment of society as a challenge and an opportunity to be leaders in developing a common agenda and strategies for the future."

Their most recent joint effort was the IAPD/IDOA Leisure and Aging Summit, held March 23-24 in Schaumburg. The Summit brought together leaders from the Aging Network and park districts and forest preserves for a shared purpose—developing partnerships and cooperative planning efforts to better serve the health, wellness and recreational needs of older people in Illinois. The Summit was recognized by the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and was attended by 130 professionals in the field of parks and recreation, gerontology and health care.

"Park districts and the Aging Network are natural partners," says Flickinger. "Park districts offer seniors a multitude of recreational activities, fitness and wellness programs. The Aging Network is well-established, providing excellent social and nutritional services. By working together, we can better address this trend and improve the quality of life for Illinois' older population."*

Illinois Parka & Recreation • May/June 1995 • 61

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