RESIDENTS & EVENTS
Aside from community-hosted events, the town offers a fascinating array of activities all year round.
The recently renovated Fox Theatre features weekly shows, concerts, plays and other musical performances. Also, the Riverside Artwalk is open to the public on the first Thursday of every month. The People’s Gallery is open from 6PM - 9PM and is located upstairs at 3643 University Avenue, just North of Orange.
The ecological movement has been going strong for decades. More and more, people are becoming more conscious about how their actions affect their natural environment. The same can be said with the senior population.
As a matter of fact, environmental volunteerism has specific qualities that both take advantage of the strengths and improve on the effects of aging and can be regarded as specifically beneficial to older persons. A 2008 Cornell University survey found that 15 percent of seniors belonged to an environmental organization and nearly 20 percent had volunteered for one.
For Jan Gilmore of Mt. Rubidoux Manor, doing things for the environment and encouraging other seniors to do the same has become second nature. “I am very much an outdoors person and as a grandmother, I am concerned about the environment and its state when I leave it to my grand children” Jan states.
“Seniors Go Green”, an organization of residents living in Mt. Rubidoux Manor who want to do good for the environment, started raising environmental awareness on site by holding a tree planning ceremony attended by Riverside city officials and Mt. Rubidoux residents. As the head of the organization, Wally Longshore and his then dutiful co-chair Jan has made sure that event was well attended and the seniors engaged. That same year, Seniors Go Green conducted a fundraising drive that raised funds to plant 352 trees in the Brazilian Rain Forrest.
When Jan was at the helm of Seniors Go Green a year later, residents at Mt. Rubidoux Manor started auditing their energy use. The seniors and site staff installed compact florescent bulbs and planted indigenous shade trees. Later on they replaced toilets, refrigerators and showerheads with more efficient models. Also the same year, Seniors Go Green invited guest speakers to talk to residents about topics such as water conservation and waste management. “My idea was that if we bring people in here and educate ourselves, in a year’s time we’d be educated enough to make a difference” Jan says.
Mount Rubidoux Manor’s residents too have become a community resource even as they work to implement further changes in their building. Seniors Go Green planned and facilitated their first green city-wide conference last year. The conference raised consciousness around issues on energy-efficiency, carbon footprint and senior wellness. Attended by conservation groups, local public utilities, city staff employees and a good number of Riverside residents, the conference featured a talk from an environmental professor, exhibition booths and health seminars.
This year, Seniors Go Green decided to reach out to other members of the community in efforts to raise awareness around environmental conservation. The seniors organized an art contest with grade school children of the local school district as participants. Entitled “The One Thing I Can Do”, the winning art pieces of the contest were featured in the Riverside Art Walk Exhibit in September 2010.
It is evident that Jan and Mt. Rubidoux’s seniors are engaged and healthy. Like many seniors around the country, Jan and the seniors of Mt. Rubidoux Manor have proven that environmentally-based volunteer programs for seniors simultaneously improve their individual health, increase access to physical activity, and improve the environment.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Mount Rubidoux Manor
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