Herkimer County HealthNet has proposed the development of an Intergenerational Community Center. In 2017, a community assessment was conducted through grant funds from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. The purpose of the assessment study was to define an Intergenerational Community Center, profile the community to be served by the proposed center, consider what geographic location might best serve the community, assess what amenities and programming would be desirable and most logical and identify other key issues that might shape a center. Its purpose was to be the background and foundation to determine next steps in a development process.
Initial findings suggested that there is an interest in a center. A prior assessment completed by the Community Foundation revealed that the presence of a senior/community center available on a daily basis is of relatively high importance and not successfully addressed in the community. This previous study underscored the relevance of examining the potential of such a center.
An intergenerational community center is a facility housing programs in which children, youth and older adults participate in ongoing services and/or programming and where participants interact during regularly scheduled planned intergenerational activities, as well as through informal encounters. It is a center designed to serve the whole community and not a single select group from the community.
The primary service area of the proposed community center was identified as the towns, villages and city that surround the Mohawk River, often referred to as the Mohawk Valley Corridor. These towns include: Herkimer, Ilion, Little Falls, Frankfort, Mohawk and Dolgeville, representing nearly 75% of the total Herkimer County population in 2015.
In January 2018, Herkimer County HealthNet formed a workgroup of leaders from the non-profit, education, healthcare and government sectors to continue work on making the community center a future reality. One outcome of this workgroup was development of proposed services and supports that the Community Center could offer Herkimer County/Mohawk Valley residents.