inside this issue: CREATING A GREENER ENVIRONMENT The Urbanization of Gardening PLANNING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE ITâ€™S IN OUR NATURE
A PUBLICATION OF THE MAYFLOWER RETIREMENT COMMUNITY WINTER 2017
CREATING A GREENER ENVIRONMENT
From a newly planted organic garden to proactive energy-saving measures, The Mayflower is planting the seeds of sustainability throughout the community. COMMUNITY IMPACT
or Anna Neville, picking produce fresh from the garden doesn’t only make her feel good about eating healthier, it makes her feel good, period. “When I dig in the garden, I get a feeling of peace and contentment,” she says. “Like music, it soothes my soul.” A dedicated gardener for 50 years, Anna has fond memories of her former backyard garden. “I loved tending the flowers, trees and shrubs,” she says. “After we sold our home, I thought those days were over.” But, they’re not. Thanks to a newly planted community garden, Anna and her fellow Mayf lower residents are quite literally enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of each other’s labor.
AN IDEA BLOSSOMS
The community garden blossomed as the result of a collaborative effort among residents and staff led by Marketing Director Jana Ricci, Director of Hospitality Services Paul Landsberg and Director of Building Services 2 | WINTER 2017 NAVIGATOR
Anna Neville says gardening is good for the soul. Bob Duff. Jana’s daughter, Hannah, is an environmental studies major at Rollins College and works with Fleet Farming, an urban agricultural program (see story, page 4). “The urban gardening movement in Orlando made the national news, and when I learned more about it, I brought
it to our senior staff at The Mayf lower, and they thought it would be a good fit,” Jana recalls. “Fleet Farming built and installed the garden; Hannah planted and maintains it; and the residents do most of the harvesting. Paul also uses the greens for salads when we host special events.” The garden, which is organic, consists of 14 raised, cedar-framed, 8’ x 4’ beds, planted with vegetables, assorted greens, herbs and flowers – 99% from seed. Hannah stops by daily to weed and reseed, and regularly posts signs identifying which crops are ripe for the picking. “It’s turned out far better than any of us could have imagined, especially in regard to community engagement,” she says. “I’ve probably met more than 100 residents, and people keep getting more and more interested in being part of it. It’s an amazing intergenerational experience.” Illuminated by market lights at night, the garden has become a community focal point and destination, as well. “It’s a fun, very comfortable gathering place,” says Jana. “Our residents absolutely love the social interaction.”
GETTING BACK TO YOUR ROOTS: Why gardening is good for you
Audrey Pekor and Aggie Koster pick fresh zucchini. FARM TO TABLE
Residents Bob and Linda Maraio (pictured on cover) are big fans. In fact, in a recent resident survey, they suggested the idea. “My parents lived in a CCRC that had a community garden, and they loved it,” Linda says. “We thought The Mayflower would benefit from something similar.” With the garden practically in their backyard, the Maraios take advantage of the accessibility of fresh produce. “We enjoy a lovely, fresh salad every other day for lunch,” Linda adds. “I also make greens and eggs, and add the greens to soup. For us, it’s literally just a couple steps from ‘farm’ to table.” Likewise, friends Jane Lapple and Nancy Klingler make it a point to stop by the garden on their daily walk, usually picking a variety of lettuces and baby kale. Other residents enjoy the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and nearly 30 other types of plants, including arugula, beets, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, radishes, parsnips, peppers, romaine, spinach, sorrel and
F Louisa Gray and Rae Delfosse harvest salad greens. micromix greens – plus a variety of herbs: basil, chives, dill, fennel, flat leaf parsley, lavender, lemon balm mint, oregano, rosemary and sage. There are also several beds of flowers, some of which are even edible. Which means that Anna Neville is in her glory. Seasonally, she selects which flowers (poinsettias, pansies and snapdragons, to name a few) greet visitors at The Mayflower’s main entrance. “It gives joy to people who see them, and it brings beauty to the world,” Anna says.
or older adults, research shows that few activities are better predictors of good health than gardening. Physically, it’s a moderate-intensity exercise that promotes flexibility and can reduce the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, stroke and heart disease. In addition, mounting evidence regarding the advantages of eating a diet rich in plantbased foods suggests that adding more nutrient-rich greens and veggies to your diet may help you live longer and healthier. Plus, if you know where and how your food is grown – and if you eat organically – the perks continue to mount. Connecting with nature can also positively affect brain health – helping to combat depression, restore concentration and improve life satisfaction. According to a Dutch study, just 30 minutes of gardening can relieve stress – measurably lowering levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol. The nostalgia factor helps, too: Gardening can provide a connection to early years, bringing back happy, positive memories.
From left, Jane Lapple, Henry Morell, Rollins student Hannah Ricci and Nancy Klingler gather at the community garden. WINTER 2017 NAVIGATOR | 3
THE URBANIZATION OF GARDENING:
NOWADAYS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE IN THE COUNTRY TO BE “DOWN ON THE FARM”
art of a growing movement to reduce the environmental impact of food production (and transform the way people think about their food in the process), Fleet Farming is changing the urban landscape, one yard at a time. Launched in 2014, the community-driven, sustainable agricultural program converts underutilized lawns into organic farms. To date, it has created more than 20 urban “farmlettes” in Orlando – with another 300 lawns on the waiting list – engaging more than 500 intergenerational volunteers in activities ranging from food production and harvesting to organic pest management.
Chris Castro leads a “fleet” of pedalpowered volunteers. Any landowner with a chemical-free lawn can participate. Fleet Farming installs and maintains the plot, and owners can keep a share for themselves. Once or twice a month, the group’s fleet of bicycleriding volunteers harvest the produce and distribute it for sale at local farmers markets and restaurants. The Mayflower follows a slightly different model in that its garden was built exclusively for residents. Co-founder Chris Castro says that, at
any age, gardening is an excellent outdoor activity. “It stimulates all of the senses, awakens our connections with nature and each other, and rewards us with fresh fruits and vegetables,” he says. “We hope the Mayflower garden will provide residents an exciting new activity that will benefit their hearts, minds and stomachs.”
USING RESOURCES WISELY
t The Mayflower, what’s good for the environment is also good for the community … and the bottom line. Over the past decade, Director of Building Services Bob Duff has implemented several energy-saving measures to cut electricity costs by about 20% – all without impacting comfort or levels of service for residents.
Using the dashboard on his office computer for daily, round-the-clock energy management, Bob creates a snapshot to view on a daily basis, enabling The Mayflower to run trends on consumption and utilize load shedding and demand leveling. He also analyzes carbon emissions and temperatures around the community. Other sustainable solutions include replacing lighting with LED bulbs; retrofitting air compressors; providing
residents with educational material on conservation; and doing preventive maintenance on equipment. In terms of water conservation, ponds on The Mayflower campus enable the community to draw well water for irrigation and to capture runoff from heavy rains. “We are pretty much selfsufficient,” Bob notes. “We don’t need to draw reclaimed water from the city – and that helps from a sustainability perspective.”
Monitoring energy usage daily enables The Mayflower to keep costs down while keeping resident satisfaction high. 4 | WINTER 2017 NAVIGATOR
PLANNING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE In an ever-changing and increasingly unpredictable world, where so many things are out of your control, planning for the future can seem daunting. That’s why the predictability and guarantees afforded by a continuing care retirement community can be a very wise financial decision. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
ASSURE QUALITY CARE
Growing up in Iceland carries hroughout their marriage, with it a certain do-it-yourself Fred and Mary Fedler have ruggedness, an “us against the always been active and elements” mindset that breeds involved. Today, in retirement, self-sufficiency. So it’s no wonder they stay fit by going for long that Anna Neville – who moved (as in 10-12 miles) bike rides. from Reykjavik to Louisiana after Recently, however, an accident college – says she served as “the prompted them to re-evaluate handyman” around her house their future, particularly in terms during 50-plus years of marriage. of the need for unexpected Now that she’s at The Mayf lower, healthcare. Mary was hit by a though, Anna doesn’t mind having car, and Fred had to act as her someone else do all the hard work. main caregiver as she recovered. “They take care of everything for That led the couple to consider me here,” she says. moving to The Mayflower, where When planning how to spend professionals could provide the the next chapter of life, being highest levels of care in the event taken care of in every sense of of unexpected health issues. the word appealed to Anna. Her “It’s a real advantage to have husband’s health was failing, and moved here while we were she knew she needed the assurance younger – before there was an of quality care during each stage of ever bigger crisis,” they say. the aging process. “Our children Mary and Fred Fedler say living at The Mayflower “We just keep on doing what and their spouses visited every means fewer chores, fewer problems and fewer worries. retirement community in the we do. Our life hasn’t changed any. We just have fewer things to Orlando area, and they selected worry about now.” The Mayflower,” says Anna. “And it has ANTICIPATE CHANGE While Fred and Mary, both 76, say been the ideal fit.” An experienced financial planner, they’re becoming “experts on the aging Elizabeth Brothers understands the process” and have noticed changes, they importance of looking ahead, anticipating A former financial planner, Elizabeth Brothers believes in planning ahead are just as active now – maybe even busier – change and taking control whenever you for healthcare costs. since moving to The Mayf lower. They can. And that’s why she’s a believer in deliver Meals on Wheels, bike three times continuing care retirement communities. a week to play bridge with friends and “All my financial training has taught me travel frequently. Fred even manages to to hope for the best but prepare for the squeeze in three rounds of golf per week. worst – so I believe in defensive living,” “Living here is like living at a resort,” Fred says Elizabeth, a Mayflower resident since says. “We’ve connected with wonderful 2001. “It’s important in financial planning neighbors – and the staff is friendly, to know that you have some control over efficient and eager to please. So much is medical costs. Choosing a CCRC enables done for us that we have fewer chores, you to plan. Otherwise, you have no fewer problems and fewer worries.” control over what the future will hold.”
IT’S IN OUR
N AT U R E From vegetable, rose and butterfly gardens to ponds and a walking trail, The Mayflower’s parklike setting is quiet, serene, peaceful and safe – an oasis just minutes from downtownWinter Park but worlds away from noise and congestion.
Lois Robertson enjoys feeding the ducks and birds at Villas Lake. 6 | WINTER 2017 NAVIGATOR
hen the birds and ducks hear Lois Robertson’s car pull up to Villas Lake, they immediately know it’s time for a snack. “I’ve been doing this for years,” says Lois, who finds happiness feeding the wildlife as she takes her afternoon walk. “They know it’s me and immediately get into position for the bread crumbs.” Highlighting the group is a special white Pekin duck named Ling – at The Mayf lower since being rescued as a duckling. A large blue heron, turtles, mallards, ibises and plenty of fish usually round out the bunch. Sometimes, an otter will join the fun. From the villa gazebo … to the koi pond … to the colorful rose garden, Lois and her fellow residents enjoy life in a tranquil setting, surrounded by nature’s beauty. “My apartment is on the second
floor, and it’s almost like living in a tree house,” Lois says. “The Mayf lower really is a wonderful, safe, peaceful environment – and that’s so important in this day and age.” For Lois and her late husband, a string of destructive hurricanes in 2004 convinced them that The Mayf lower could offer better security to weather life’s storms. “We wanted to move here so we could be established in our later years,” she says. “I didn’t want to be all alone in our house, especially without power after a hurricane. When The Mayf lower called and said they had an apartment ready for us, I knew it was time to move. Eleven years later, I’m so thankful that I’m here.”
THE BUTTERFLY MAN
Like Lois, Larry Ogle also appreciates The Mayf lower’s “good nature.” But his favorite destination is the butterfly garden – which is fitting, given his nickname. Known around the community as “The Butterfly Man,” Larry has long enjoyed working with all manner of
Larry Ogle says watching butterflies is a relaxing hobby. plants, insects and creepy creatures. About 15 years ago, while living in Winter Park, he started buying butterflies at the Farmers Market and got acquainted with the various species. When he and his wife, Marlene, relocated to Melbourne, the butterflies went, too. And, recently, when they moved to The Mayf lower a year ago, Larry brought along some caterpillars and Mexican sunflowers to enhance the already-established butterfly garden.
A beautifully manicured rose garden greets residents and guests at the entrance to The Mayflower property. “It’s an easy hobby,” says Larry, who checks on his winged friends at least once a day. “Being at the butterfly garden is pleasant and relaxing.” A retired Air Force pilot who served in Vietnam, Larry held a variety of fundraising positions in civilian life. The organizations he supported taught career skills to nonviolent teenage offenders, connected older adults with volunteer opportunities, promoted economic development, helped in the fight against cerebral palsy and provided end-of-life care. For the Ogles, building a sustainable future meant living in a 5-Star, locally owned and operated retirement community with outstanding health coverage. “We chose The Mayf lower because it’s a standalone community that isn’t governed by a large corporation,” Marlene says. “We didn’t want decisions about our home and our future being made by a company in some other state. Here, we have input and access to the leadership. Plus, it’s a beautiful, wonderful place where we have met good friends and are well cared for.”
place to walk by and see how many different kinds of butterflies there are. We enjoy stopping here to read a book or just enjoy peace and quiet.” A highly acclaimed former music professor, Gary is a concert pianist who taught for 40 years at UCF and Rollins, as well as other colleges. He has performed classical music throughout the U.S. and Europe (“well over 1,000 concerts,” he estimates) and belongs to The Mayf lower Singers. Carolyn, who taught business for two decades in Seminole County Public Schools, chairs a committee on the Residents Council. “Moving to The Mayf lower was the best decision we could have made,” Gary says. “We thoroughly enjoy living here.”
MUSIC TO THE SOUL
Often joining the Ogles in the butterfly garden are Dr. Gary Wolf and his wife, Carolyn. Before moving to The Mayf lower two years ago, they raised bromeliads and had a verdant yard adorned with flowers. “We’re delighted that The Mayf lower built this garden,” Gary says. “The plants have grown wonderfully, and it’s a lovely
Dr. Gary and Carolyn Wolf enjoy the peace and quiet of The Mayflower’s butterfly garden.
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THE MAYFLOWER Winter Park’s Distinctive Retirement Community
1620 MAYFLOWER COURT | WINTER PARK, FL 32792
88141 PRAD FNL 1/2017
Protect Your Assets
How can The Mayflower be part of
YOUR ESTATE PLAN?
With all the things to worry about in this uncertain world of ours, future long-term care doesn’t have to be one of them. That’s because CCRCs like The Mayflower provide built-in safeguards that help you protect your assets:
Pre-funded Long-term Care: Through our “Type A” contract, a portion of your entrance fee is allocated toward future healthcare, locking in rates far below “market” and enabling you to pay for tomorrow’s care in today’s dollars – a savings of approximately 50%.
Guaranteed Refund Plans up to 95%: Our flexible plans can ensure that a significant portion of your entrance fee will be returned to your estate.
Tax Advantages: A portion of your entrance and monthly fees may qualify as pre-paid medical expenses.
And much, much more!
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