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City Councilman Andre Dickens and Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Host Second Annual Senior Walk

Members of Atlanta’s fastest growing population segment get up-close-and-personal on the Eastside Trail

ATLANTA (September 27, 2016) – In collaboration with the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Atlanta City Councilman and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. board member Andre Dickens offered a group of the city’s “golden citizens” an up-close-and-personal experience during his annual Senior Atlanta BeltLine Walk. Now in its second year, the goal of the fitness-oriented event is to engage seniors in a fun, interactive way, while increasing their overall awareness of the Atlanta BeltLine’s programs and ongoing developments. A diverse group of nearly sixty citizens, ages 50 and up, from Quality Living Services (QLS) community centers participated.

Atlanta BeltLine Fitness Ambassadors Madison James and Leslie Mangum lead seniors in a warm-up session before heading out for a walk on the Atlanta BeltLine.

Atlanta BeltLine Fitness Ambassadors Madison James and Leslie Mangum lead seniors in a warm-up session before heading out for a walk on the Atlanta BeltLine.

City Councilman Andre Dickens addresses the senior group during their warm-up session at Park Tavern.

City Councilman Andre Dickens addresses the senior group during their warm-up session at Park Tavern.

Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner speaks to the senior group before they head out on the Eastside Trail.

Atlanta BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Rob Brawner speaks to the senior group before they head out on the Eastside Trail.

Starting with a warm-up session led by Atlanta BeltLine fitness ambassadors Madison James and Leslie Mangum, seniors then set out on the Eastside Trail from the 10th Street & Monroe Drive access point. During the walk from Piedmont Park to Ponce City Market, seniors viewed public art along the one-time rail corridor. After the morning walk, Atlanta BeltLine visionary Ryan Gravel, currently serving as project manager for the Atlanta City Design Project, offered seniors a brief overview of the BeltLine. Atlanta’s commissioner of planning and community development, Tim Keane, also shared helpful information about programs and resources available through the city. Keane also announced the Atlanta City Studio pop-up shop’s pending move to a new site in southwest Atlanta. The afternoon ended with a healthy lunch and an opportunity for seniors to explore the market, which many remembered as the old Sears & Roebuck.

City Councilman Dickens leads seniors from Piedmont Park to Ponce City Market on the Eastside Trail.

City Councilman Dickens leads seniors from Piedmont Park to Ponce City Market on the Eastside Trail.

The weather was perfect for a walk along the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail.

The weather was perfect for a walk along the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail.

According to a recent study by Forbes Magazine, Atlanta’s senior population is growing faster than any other segment, with a 20% increase between 2010 and 2014. Research suggests that many citizens who relocated to the city over the past two decades are now turning 65, or will soon. The study cites a lower-cost of living and better quality of life – not necessarily warmer weather— as the primary reasons for choosing to reside in Atlanta.

“It was both powerful and inspiring to see such a large, energetic group of seniors enjoying the Atlanta BeltLine. They were serious about fitness and challenged me to step up my pace,” Councilman Dickens said. “Our seniors are living longer, healthier lives, and I’m committed to doing my part to ensure they take advantage of all Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine has to offer.”

Atlanta BeltLine visionary Ryan Gravel talks to seniors at Ponce City Market.

Ryan Gravel talks to seniors at Ponce City Market.

Healthy eating was one of the day's themes and seniors were treated to a great lunch at Ponce City Market.

Healthy eating was one of the day’s themes and seniors were treated to a great lunch at Ponce City Market.

This was the second year for City Councilman Dickens senior walk on the Atlanta BeltLine.

This was the second year for City Councilman Dickens’ senior walk on the Atlanta BeltLine.

“Through events like the senior walk with Councilman Dickens, we are able to engage seniors and let them experience the BeltLine in a fun, interactive way,” said Rob Brawner, executive director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “Seniors were excited about the free fitness classes and developments along the Westside trail, which is near where many reside in southwest Atlanta. As we continue to grow, we want every Atlantan, especially our seniors, to get and stay active out on the Atlanta BeltLine.”

Photos in this article are courtesy of the City of Atlanta. View more images from the day in this online album. For more information about senior programs and resources available through the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership call 404-446-4404 or visit beltline.org.

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Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Office of Communications and Media Relations

John Becker
Communications Coordinator
(404) 446-4409, john@atlblp.org

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