The AARP Mound Bayou chapter in the Delta has made a commitment to building a healthier and safe community. After a series of community conversations, AARP Mississippi facilitated a workshop called Active Living In a Health Community last year.
“We invited a diverse array of citizens, including city officials, law enforcement personnel, Kindergarten through grade 12 school personnel, healthcare providers, non-profit workers, and members of business, civic and faith-based organizations,” said Elaine Baker, Ph.D., MSW, AARP Mound Bayou Chapter President. Baker says open and honest discussions among all community members can ultimately lead to a better city. “We are working to build walking trails, refurbish community areas - both public and private - and being altogether more responsive to the safety needs of seniors and children,” she said.
Mound Bayou Mayor Kennedy Johnson said the centerpieces of the crusade for a healthier Mound Bayou include repairing streets and creating and replacing sidewalks that ultimately will lead to a walking-friendly community. “AARP is giving us lots of good ideas and helping us start the conversation among the elderly and other key members of our community,” Mayor Johnson said.
Baker said the discussions will be worth it. “When people invest themselves in solutions to challenges and respect contributions of all, the outcome is greater than the sum of the individual parts,” Baker said.
The effort has begun to produce results. In 2012, AARP Mound Bayou unveiled the first 5 of 25 historical markers.