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2017 press releases

Unique Honey Bee Sanctuary in Oakland, CA wins
2017 ICAA Innovators Green Award

(Vancouver, BC, August 25, 2017) – The creation of a rooftop garden and honeybee hives at a skilled nursing home created quite a buzz with the Innovators Green Award judges this year.

The International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) is pleased to announce that the 2017 winner of the ICAA Innovators Green Award is the older-adult community of Piedmont Gardens in Oakland California. The community received the award for converting an unused area into a bee sanctuary.

The competition was open to organizations and professionals that share ICAA’s goals of changing society's perceptions of aging and improving the quality of life for older adults within seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, vocational, physical, spiritual, intellectual, social and environmental. An ICAA committee of judges chose the Innovators Green Award winner for excellence in making a positive difference in the lives of older adults in a sustainable, environmentally- friendly way.

“Residents planned and planted the gardens, sharing life experiences and expertise, observing the beekeeping operations and tasting the honey we harvest,” says Tanya McGinness of Piedmont Gardens. “The project has also allowed opportunities for education about the role bees play in the health of our environment.”

Residents from the independent living and assisted living areas visit the nursing center rooftop to attend “bee information sessions” and use the space for personal pleasure. Employees also visit the garden during their breaks. This has all resulted in a more cohesive community.

Village residents are planning to use the beeswax to make aromatherapy lotions for use in the activity programs and for hand massage and sensory stimulation for those affected by dementia. The wax will also be used in candle-making activities.

The honey, once harvested, will be shared among the 300 residents who live in all areas of Piedmont Gardens. Village residents will also create the labels and distribute the honey at the in-house farmers market.

The success of this project extends well beyond Piedmont gardens. The honeybees are active in the surrounding community, pollinating local fruit trees and gardens.

As the Green Award recipient, Piedmont Gardens receives a crystal award of recognition, along with a free pass to the ICAA Conference 2017, held in Florida, October 12-14. In addition, ICAA’s Journal on Active Aging® will publish a profile on the organization and its green initiatives.

About the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA)
ICAA, a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry, supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging -- an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness -- and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada's Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia (Canada) Ministries of Health and Healthy Living and Sport.

For more information or questions:
Contact: Colin Milner, CEO, ICAA
Toll-free: 1-866-335-9777 (North America)
Telephone: 604-734-4466; cell: 604-763-4595


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