A citizen committee reporting to the Park District of Oak Park will conduct a survey of the community this month to gauge interest in a possible future space for senior citizens.

The survey will let the group know how the community feels about available services for seniors in Oak Park and whether those services — offered through the park district and other organizations, like Oak Park Township — are too fragmented.

Community members can fill out the survey online, April 15 to May 15, at park district registration sites like the Madison Street headquarters or Ridgeland Common, at senior living facilities or at the Oak Park Public Library’s main branch, said Meredith Schwartz, active adult and special interest supervisor for the volunteer Senior Advisory Committee (SAC).

The park district currently has activities available for seniors all over Oak Park, like fitness classes at the Dole Center and recreation programs at Longfellow Park, Schwartz said. But services that are too spread out means seniors are less likely to take advantage of them.

Steve Doniger, assistant superintendent of recreation programs for the park district, added that the committee does not want to duplicate services and is just hoping to find out where the gaps and overlaps are.

“We do recognize that there’s some really good quality programming going on,” Doniger said, “so we want to make sure that we’re complementing.”

To build a basis for comparison, the SAC has toured senior centers in neighboring communities in recent months. From those visits, they put together a list of some components a future center might need, like a comfortable lounge, recreation room with activity tables, kitchenette, art room and fitness room.

Once the SAC has an understanding of residents’ interests, they’ll look to partner with service providers or businesses in the community, Doniger said. Budget numbers must also be worked out.

Schwartz said the group is “by no means looking” for a space right now, but they’ve let the park board know they might be interested, in case any sites become available.

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