Town wins Municipal League Innovation Award

Town wins Municipal League Innovation Award 2

The Town of Blacksburg has been awarded the 2022 Virginia Municipal League (VML) Innovation Award in the Community Health category, for its role in the development of Aging in Place Planning Resources. VML recognizes eight local governments annually for innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, citizen participation, and improved services to citizens. This year, VML received nearly 80 entries.

“Being able to participate in the development of a practical guide that can help make a difference in how people plan their future was meaningful to everyone involved,” said Director of Planning and Building Anne McClung. “The title says it all “Your home, Your Community, Your Choice.”

The Aging in Community (AiC) Leadership Team brought together local government staff with community advocates, regional planners, aging experts, health and social service agencies, non-profits, and the philanthropic sector to create resources accessible to everyone. An important element of that work was to create both a process and a culture to encourage more residents to pre-plan for their later years so they can remain safe, independent, and maintain a high quality of life as they age. These resources are also valuable to individuals navigating changes with their aging parents.

Five senior staff from the Town of Blacksburg served on the AiC Team and took the lead in developing the suite of Aging in Place planning resources including a workbook, and facilitated workshops that enabled group discussion and collaborative learning. The workbook provides detailed user-friendly information across five topical areas; housing, transportation, health and wellness, personal finance, and connection and growth.  Detailed checklists are included with each chapter to help users assess how prepared they are to age in place over time.

“Particularly commendable is how Blacksburg sought to build, not only resources, but a culture of supporting older adults holistically within its professional staff and partner institutions through the Train the Trainer series,” said the VML award judges.

The Mayor, members of Town Council, and staff will accept the award at the VML Annual Conference in Richmond on October 3.

VML is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services.

View a 5 minute video about Aging in Place decisions and resources.