Efforts to live an eco-friendly lifestyle don’t have to end with a move to a senior living residence. On the contrary—at Madison’s Oakwood Village east and west campuses and DeForest’s Parkside, residents and staff have implemented several eco programs to ensure that life after retirement is fulfilling, healthy and fun.
At Oakwood Village, the popularity of vegetable gardens has gone gangbusters. In addition to the huge one-thousand-square-foot plot at the west campus—which includes heirloom vegetables, herbs and fruits—the facility has more than eighty garden plots and is planning to add sixteen more raised beds in 2011. Produce from the gardens is used regularly in meals at Oakwood Village West.
Gardening is a big hit at Parkside, too—residents enjoy tending herb planters, where chefs harvest fresh herbs for the daily menu. A resident council plans enrichment activities with an earthy twist, like visits to state parks and an initiative to purchase DVD lectures about the environment.
These kinds of programs are a win-win, says Ari Weinberger, president of CRL Senior Living Communities, Parkside’s parent organization. Seniors have access to a wide range of fun, engaging activities and can continue to be good stewards of their environment.
Madison-area seniors are happily proving wrong the perception that eco-friendly living is only a trend for the younger set. After all, they were the ones who invented the modern-day version of it.