WILMINGTON — The Clinton County Regional Planning Commission — with assistance from the City of Wilmington’s Maintenance and Repair Department — completed a Legacy Fund Grant project last month to install 15 new age-friendly benches in downtown Wilmington as part of its Age-Friendly Clinton County Plan.
Age-Friendly Clinton County is an initiative aimed at proactively addressing the needs of an aging population in Clinton County. In the 2019 Age-Friendly Clinton County Findings Report, a focus group of older adults revealed that it is difficult for them to traverse downtown due to the lack of seating.
This project will support the well-being and safety of residents and visitors of all ages.
Downtown Wilmington has the highest concentration of pedestrian activity in the county and previously had only a few available benches that did not meet age-friendly standards.
The new benches are equipped with handrails, accessible heights, and will last longer than wooden benches. Bench seating height is 19 inches, which is optimal for decreasing chair rise effort.
The benches help promote walkability and well-being downtown and provide people of all ages a place to sit, chat, and spend time outdoors. Positive appreciation for the project has already been received from across different sectors of the community.
“We are excited to partner with programs like this to promote and advance an age friendly community. Seating for old folks like me are great!” said Mayor John Stanforth about his positive response on the benches.
Brenda Woods, President of the Clinton County Board of Commissioners, added, “The benches are a great addition to the courthouse grounds. They are utilized on a daily basis, and we are grateful to have them.”
Future and sustainability
The City of Wilmington has agreed to sustain this project by maintaining the quality of the benches. Age-Friendly Clinton County will continue expanding the bench program to improve community accessibility and quality of life throughout the County.
For a more information about of Age Friendly Plan for the county, please visit https://www.clintoncountyrpc.org/plans—projects.html .