In 2003, a group of experts led by Professor Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko and Henry Wilkinson from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gathered to discuss the possibility of creating a garden for older adults that would provide walkways, flower gardens, waterfalls, and dozens of physical activity opportunities at a retirement community. The group of experts came from a variety of fields of study including kinesiology, turf science, landscape architecture, and natural resources and environmental sciences, and participated in a discussion about the feasibility of the garden.
From that, the idea for a garden targeted to older adults was developed and became known as New AGE (New Active Green Environment).
The first New AGE facility was recently launched at Clark Lindsey Village Retirement Community in Urbana, Illinois, United States. The facility provides an outdoor space filled with green walkways, flower gardens, exotic plants, bird feeders, rock gardens, lawns, and patios. Although this space may look like a relaxing park or garden, it is actually a health maintenance facility designed to provide numerous opportunities for older adults to engage in stimulating activities designed to enhance overall health and well-being.
This first New AGE garden is only a prototype, and discussions are currently taking place for future locations of New AGE gardens, including one in Chicago, and possibly Singapore. For more information, contact Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko at firstname.lastname@example.org.