The Best Gift We Can Give Each Other (and It’s Free)

Growing up, we got our Christmas trees from Mr. Munro, the man who owned our house before us. He had studied horticulture in college and taught at a school for years. He owned a tree farm a few hours away from his home, so in his 70s, he decided to sell that home and move to the farm full time. My mom and dad were new to town and in their late 20s — sans kids and dog. Those would come later. …

We Need to Create Communities for a Lifetime

Too many of us are outgrowing our homes and communities. They’re not becoming too small, like children’s clothes, but they just don’t fit us very well as we get older. It’s time to make some changes. So to advance the conversation about what the future of housing might look like, AARP and AARP Foundation collaborated with the Atlantic and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to organize a two-day summit on this critical issue last week. The summit’s …

Foundations Are Offering $$$ and More to Livable Communities

I have a long-standing point of view: The issue of livable communities is too big and important for any one sector to solve the challenge. For there to be a sustainable movement to create more walkable, livable communities across the country, every sector needs to be at the table. A healthy, balanced and successful effort requires that each group has its place, making different contributions. A few years ago we looked at the different sectors that were involved in livable communities …

Wanted (Now!): Great Ideas for 26 U.S. Cities

Last fall, the Knight Foundation issued a challenge seeking “compelling and innovative” ideas for improving the 26 cities where the Knight brothers (John S. and James L.) once owned newspapers. They’re doing it again this October by inviting everyone and anyone (individuals, groups, nonprofits, for-profits, governments) with a great idea that will advance talent, opportunity or engagement to submit ideas for a chance to receive some of the $5 million in 18-month grants Knight will be awarding at the city, neighborhood and block …

Green Peace: The Healing Power of Parks for Young and Old

One of my very best friends died three years ago. He happened to be my grandfather, who was 96 years old. He was ready. It was time. But it wasn’t easy. I missed him. It took me months to delete the calendar alert I’d set up to ping me every day at 11:20 a.m., a reminder to stop what I was doing and “Call PO9,” short for Pop Pop. (As a kid, when I was learning to write, I accidentally addressed …

Ways for Generations to Stay Active Together

There were yoga classes in California’s Silicon Valley and line dances in Washington. There were bocce ball matches in Rochester, N.Y., and water volleyball games in Mason City, Iowa. But best of all, across the country, there were younger people and older people coming together to participate. It happened just a few weeks ago. From Aug. 1 to 8, the YMCA and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy teamed up for A New Way to Move, a weeklong initiative promoting physical activity that connects kids and older adults. According to …