Senior Services of Midland County has received a $145,625 grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation.
The grant will provide funding to build a partially enclosed bike shelter and an outdoor pavilion that will increase the accessibility of outdoor recreation and exercise options available to people in Midland County, particularly for older adults and those living with disabilities.
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy and enriching lifestyle, providing mental and physical benefits, and bicycling is an excellent way to achieve those goals. It is low-impact, easy on the joints, and benefits mood, weight management, and heart and cognitive health. For many older adults, however, changing health conditions, loss of coordination and balance, and other aspects of aging can make cycling unsafe. Three-wheeled bicycles allow older adults and others living with disability, a way to feel confident, safe, and in control, while still getting to enjoy the many benefits of biking. Unfortunately, the cost, maintenance, transportation and storage of these larger bikes puts them out of reach for many people with lower income or the ability to transport them to trails.
To address this need, Senior Services is working in collaboration with the Friends of the Rail-Trail to provide three-wheeled bicycles that will be available for check out. Our location adjacent to the Rail-Trail is frequently used as a launching point for bikers as well as a hub for older adults, making this an ideal location for this service. This enclosed bike shelter will provide them protection from the elements.
Additionally, there is currently no adequate outdoor space for outdoor gatherings for the public, for the agency, or for the older adults we serve. A small pavilion adjacent to the rail trail will serve many in the community. The setting and planned amenities will provide a family-friendly destination for all ages, income levels, and physical abilities. All improvements will be universally accessible.
Senior Services is looking forward to encouraging strong community use and healthful multi-generational opportunities by creating an attractive and vibrant destination that supports improved health, fitness, and socialization for all ages and levels of ability.
This gift from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation helps make it possible for Senior Services to further our mission to improve the quality of life for older adults in Midland County. The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation of Midland, Michigan was established in 1957 by the late Charles J. Strosacker, one of the pioneers of The Dow Chemical Company, “To assist and benefit political subdivisions of the State of Michigan, and religious, charitable, benevolent, scientific or educational organizations.”