By Amanda Ensinger
As more senior citizens are staying more active than ever before, a local township is looking for ways to encourage residents to take advantage of fitness activities.
At a recent Prairie Township board meeting, officials from the Prairie Township Community Center discussed new activities they may soon offer residents.
Prairie Township Community Center Director Michael Pollack said the center is looking at adding more yoga and tai chi evening classes for seniors.
“We are in the process of scheduling out the next few months and will be looking into this,” Pollack said. “We have some exercise classes in the evening already but are open to adding more. We are trying to focus on more adult classes these next few months and these are great additional classes we can add to that list.”
Some of the new adult-only programming the center will be offering in the spring includes gardening, genealogy and nutrition classes.
Pollack also asked the board to approve a new display TV at the community center that will promote activities coming up, as well as display ads for area businesses.
“There is no cost to the township for the equipment and the township will receive a percentage from the ads sold,” Pollack said. “The agreement would allow for the display TV to be at the community center for three years.”
Pollack said the township can customize content on the TV screen and can rotate activities they want to promote as visitors come into the center.
Pollack also gave an update on community center attendance for January. Currently, the center has 7,153 members and 2,485 of those members are residents while 4,668 non-residents. There are more than 4,000 seniors that are members and seniors visited the center over 8,800 times in January.
In other news, the board discussed continuing with the popular Hometown Hero Banner Program. The program serves as a living tribute to recognize Prairie Township residents and graduates of Westland High School who are serving, are veterans or died in the line of duty while serving the United States Armed Forces.
This year, the board agreed to charge residents $100 a banner, offering a slight decrease from the previous year.
“In 2018 the cost was $75 a banner, last year it was $109 a banner and we recommend this year charging $100 a banner,” said Rob Peters, township administrator. “The price varies each year based on quantity, the more we order the cheaper the price per banner is.”
Peters said the banners will hang from mid-May to Labor Day and residents who have purchased banners in the past are welcomed to bring their banners in and they will be displayed again on the polls.
“There is only a one-time fee to purchase the banners and as long as they are in good condition we will continue to display them,” Peters said. “We also will store them each year for residents if they don’t want to take them home.”
The banners will be hung on the on streetlamps on West Broad Street in the township and will include the service member’s name, image, military branch and rank.
If you are interested in learning more about how to submit a banner, visit www.prairietownship.org/294/Military-Hometown-Hero-Banner-Program.