Magazine article Parks & Recreation

This Much We Know

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

This Much We Know

Article excerpt

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN RELUCTANT to get too wrapped up in generalizing about age groups. Too often we run the risk of being fiat-out wrong, insulting, or both. But, when a demographic tidal wave of 72 million enters its retirement years, it's just too large to ignore. This is especially true for the field of parks and recreation.

And that's not to say it's an easy subject to take on. Our cover story this month reflects the complexities of reporting on Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. We do know their traits and aspirations, and on balance, they are admirable. One trait of this generation, we learned, is its aversion to labels and monikers that typecast them. Marketers of goods and services know all too well the pitfalls of calling them seniors, mature citizens, active adults, or golden this-or-that. Maybe such sensitivity is to be expected, given the size of the group. But for the purposes of parks and recreation, geography, education, and income, all are key indicators of who tends to be active and who is not. Many don't want (or can't) retire, most are significantly more active physically than preceding generations, and they want to give back to society. We also know that they are the best educated and wealthiest generation in U. …

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