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Grass Roots Aging in Place- Diversity

by Louis on July 8, 2010

As concepts and ideas make their way through time they change reflecting new interpretations and input. Sometimes the originators are upset that their ideas are misunderstood. Sometimes the followers are proud to promote their innovation. The village movement is one of these evolving concepts. I recognize the grass roots and intentionality of the communities developing on the foundation of Beacon Hill Village.

I wrote recently about a presentation I did for Burning Tree Village in Bethesda, Maryland and sent a link to the post to the group’s present Leslie Kessler. She wrote back clarify the special elements, aspects, innovations of their special style of village:

Hi Louis, I’m sorry for taking so long to respond to your email. I wanted to thank you for the excellent presentation you made for our program last week. You are passionate about this work, and I am so glad to consider you an ally in helping make homes and communities more accommodating to older adults and those with disabilities. Your message about making things, well, universal, is so logical. I hope building codes do begin to reflect the practicality or constructing from new with an eye toward broad accommodation.

If you don’t mind me saying, you wrote one thing on your blog that is not really true. Burning Tree Village is not modeled after Beacon Hill Village. In fact, we are completely different from them. They get much credit for putting the aging in place village concept on the map, so to speak. BTV, however, is a model unto itself – all volunteer, no fees, no hired execs, and so forth. We admire them and the contribution they have made to the field. I just like to point out that we are forging our own path and have a truly original model of service.

Still friends?!?!

Of course we are still friends, Leslie!

I write this entry to trumpet the diversity of ideas that emerge from the committed and interested members of grass roots and intentional communities. This is truly the way new ideas and new models are identified, tested and appreciated. Hurray for new ideas!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Peter Durkson July 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm


Could I have more details about your concept? I have a neighborhood near St George, Utah which needs such an organization.
Thank you,
Peter Durkson


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