Crawfordsville and Shelbyville have been selected as pilot sites for a special "Advocates for Livable Communities: Working Together for Change" Training. In each community, up to 20 residents will receive five days of active training to become effective advocates for the concepts of livability

The Crawfordsville Training will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church on Oct. 1-2, Oct. 15-16 and Oct. 30. The participants will gain knowledge of the latest information on livability concepts and how to apply them to Crawfordsville/Montgomery County in these areas: Mobility, Housing, Recreation, Health & Support Services, Social & Cultural Opportunities, and Work, Education & Civic Engagement

The training will allow participants to:

Examine examples of livable communities advocacy that inspire action,

Explore new ways to build effective collaborations to encourage action and success, and

Practice putting a variety of advocacy skills into action.

The Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities has awarded a grant to Indiana University's Institute on Disability and Community and the Center of For Aging and Community at the University of Indianapolis to fund the development of this program. Professors Sharon Baggett, University of Indianapolis, and Jennie Todd, Indiana University, are directing the program.

In addition to developing the training curriculum on how to become an effective advocate for livable communities, the program will engage an initial cadre of livable community advocates who share a vision of advocacy for all ages and abilities and engage more older adults and persons with disabilities in effective advocacy for livable communities.

Stipends of $250 will be provided for each individual who participates in all five sessions of the October program in Crawfordsville!

Crawfordsville was chosen in part because of earlier overtures and public forums several years ago. "Crawfordsville Livable Community" was called together by Claude Johnson and Dan Goff to explore what can make Montgomery County a place in which individuals will want to live for life and a community to which others might be interested to move and retire.

An active core of interested local residents conducted a "Community Survey" which included Transportation, Walkability, Safety and Security, Shopping, Housing, Recreation & Cultural Activities, and Community Services.

In 2009, four public forums were held in February, March, August, and October with presentations by the late Sharon Wood, Director of Area IV Council on Aging and Community Action Program; Joe Hemersbach, Area IV, Phillip Stafford, Director for Center on Aging and Community at Indiana University and others. The Crawfordsville Livable Community concept was expanded into Montgomery County, A livable Community for Life.

Nearly120 local individuals participated in a variety of committees discussing specific ideas which had emerged from the forums. But implementation of recommendations was not completed.

The 2013 October Training is designed to provide the impetus and skills for effective action so that livable community overtures can indeed be adopted. Spaces are still available. All interested Montgomery County residents are encouraged to apply. Applications can be secured from Alice Yates, Director of Senior Programs at Crawfordsville Park and Recreation (ayates@crawford-sville-in.gov; 364-5175) or Gail Pebworth (pebworthg@-sbcglobal.net; 362-3882).