Although around for two and a half decades, Maple Grove’s 55 Forward program continues to find new ways to help residents connect with themselves and the community. “I think it’s a way for people, especially those who are retired, to basically connect with their community and socialize,” says Liz Faust, the senior program supervisor.
Operating separately from the Age-Friendly Maple Grove initiative, 55 Forward focuses on providing a variety of programs that span several domains of well-being, including the physical, artistic, intellectual, financial and social realms. With anything from continuing education classes for lifelong learners to physical fitness classes for those looking to remain active, 55 Forward offers a bit of something for everyone.
“I think our monthly luncheons are a great example of something that covers a lot of those categories at once,” Faust says. “It’s a great time for a lot of people to gather at one time to socialize and also to enjoy a lot of different entertainment acts that we bring in from different styles and cultures.”
55 Forward offers a variety of fitness classes (both in person and virtually) that include low-impact exercises, such as swimming, and meditative practices like yoga and tai chi. For those who prefer more of a social element, Faust says there are 13 different card and game groups, featuring favorites like contract bridge, 500 and more.
With hopes of expanding its options, Faust says it will continue to introduce new and different programs for community members. “There’s a couple things that we’ve just barely tapped into that we’ll be offering more of in 2022,” she says. “One fun thing is, we’ve started doing is African drumming, so actually bringing in west African drums and a lead person for the group. It’s kind of no expectation—there’s no right, there’s no wrong. It’s just to release energy and have fun, which is kind of great.”
The pricing of these programs range depending on the activity or event, but membership for the routine social and club activities is $12 for the year. To learn more about the variety of offerings, Faust says individuals can pick up a Parks and Recreation activity guide, which are available at the Maple Grove Community Center, or you can go online to maplegrovemn.gov.
Age Friendly Maple Grove
12951 Weaver Lake Road; 763.494.6514; agefriendlymaplegrove.com