LETTER: Essential community center in Ludington | Readers Forum

As a small town, Ludington offers attractive benefits of clean air, little traffic (except perhaps during the summer months), lower crime rates, and a slower pace than a big city. To stimulate the economy and attract more people to the community, small towns are investing in community recreation centers, where young and old alike can enjoy healthy and fun activities.

There are several reasons why an intergenerational community center would be beneficial here in Ludington.

(It) Promotes Exercise, Health, and Wellness: A community center can provide a convenient and affordable place for people to work out and focus on their fitness goals. The promotion of walking clubs, fitness classes, open gym activities, suitable for various age groups, creates a positive atmosphere for health and well-being, sometimes reducing dependence on health care and to social services.

(It) provides space for young people: A community center could keep our young people occupied and promote good health and strong relationships through sports and recreational activities. The center could benefit working parents who need a safe place for their children after school. After-school programs can also provide children with help with homework and tutoring, music lessons, art lessons, and a healthy social outlet.

(It) provides space for the elderly: The number of elderly people in Ludington represents (more than) 25% of its population. The senior center now has limited space to accommodate the opportunities needed to keep its seniors active. Using the community center, seniors could take advantage of exercise equipment, gym space for walking and fitness classes, special activity rooms and conference rooms, and perhaps even a green space for recreational activities and outdoor games. These spaces would be used more by the elderly during the hours when the residents normally work and when the children are at school.

(It) helps the local economy: A community center can provide jobs and plenty of money-making opportunities through sports tournaments and conventions. These events can bring money to restaurants, hotels and local shops in Ludington. A community center can attract new people to our town, it can increase property values ​​and the resale value of our homes and thus generate increased tax revenue.

(It) promotes community engagement: Having multipurpose spaces where community members can gather for large group events and can participate in services that benefit health and well-being can help people get new friends and develop a bond with their city.

A community center would be a thriving hub, where people of all ages in Ludington can grow in opportunities to be healthier, safer and involved in the community and with each other.

Jill E. Washington