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Efforts By Scarborough, Maine to Improve Quality of Life for Older Adults Wins EPA Award

Release Date: 02/13/2008
Contact Information: Kathleen Nagle (617) 918-1985,

(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 13, 2008) – The Town of Scarborough, Maine is one of seven communities and government agencies from around the country selected by EPA to receive a “Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging” award. The program recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth, thereby improving the quality of life of older residents.
The Town of Scarborough received the award for its efforts to encourage responsible development and healthy living for all of its 18,900 residents through its establishment of Future Land Use Plan, protecting rural lands and open spaces, and focusing development near existing resources.

“A great way to contribute to protecting our environment is to help promote a healthier and more active life for our seniors,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Scarborough is setting a great example for other communities.”

The Seniors Program Advisory Board, in collaboration with the Town, redeveloped a former school site into 60 affordable senior housing units in the town’s community center. The location provides older adults a greater sense of community and reduces reliance on motor vehicles.

“The town’s decision to support the construction of more than 200 units of affordable senior housing through flexible zoning and creative reuse of old schools provides an important resource for residents to age in place,” said Laurence W. Gross, Executive Director, Southern Maine Agency on Aging.

Scarborough also created the Senior Center Without Walls, a network of programs, services, and partnerships that specializes in addressing the needs of Scarborough’s 6,000 residents who are 50 years of age and older. As part of this initiative, the Town designed three senior-focused exercise programs and improved five miles of walking trails and three miles of sidewalks to increase opportunities for physical activity.

By adopting smart growth principles, communities can design places that increase mobility and improve quality of life for older adults. The benefits of building healthy communities for active aging are being realized in communities across the country.

EPA's Aging Initiative program works in partnership with the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Council on Aging's Center for Healthy Aging, the National Blueprint Office and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, through its Active for Life program.

More information: EPA’s Aging Initiative (

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