Agricultural Sciences

Land-use webinar to focus on intergenerational community engagement, planning

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Planning for an intergenerational community that offers engagement to citizens of all ages will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at noon, July 21.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be extension educators Peter Wulfhorst, Neal Fogle and John Turack.

As individuals grow apart in today's society, communities need to come together, noted Wulfhorst, who is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Communities not only provide a geographic location where people live, they also offer social interaction and common ties that bind people together, he added. “Ideally, these community features and related opportunities should be available to benefit all within a community, including the very young and elderly residents.”

This webinar will be valuable, Turack explained, because many communities don’t have the resources to accomplish intergenerational planning. “They would like to engage citizens in an all-age inclusive planning process but do not have the knowledge, staffing or experience to develop such assessments and strategies to capture information for use in a decision-making process,” he said.

According to Fogle, this creates the opportunity for “intergenerational contact zones,” which serve as spatial focal points for different generations to meet, interact, build relationships that encourage trust and friendships, and — if desired — work together to address issues of local concern.

“These intergenerational contact zones provide civic gathering places where people can meet comfortably, and where there is a welcoming environment for newcomers,” Fogle said.

The webinar will highlight “One Community — Many Generations,” an intergenerational community engagement guide and online community assessment tool developed by Penn State Extension through a community challenge grant funded by the American Association of Retired People. A One Community — Many Generations pilot program was conducted in Susquehanna Depot, Susquehanna County, in 2020.

This effort resulted in an action plan that addressed priorities of concern identified by the community and resulted in quick implementation steps that community leaders and volunteers promptly began to implement.

“Intergenerational Community Engagement and Planning — Values and Practices” is the first webinar in Penn State Extension’s Summer/Fall 2021 Land-Use Webinar Series that runs from July 21 to Nov. 17. The webinars will inform municipal, elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, and community organizations about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

All webinars are recorded and available for later viewing. Topics and dates in the series include the following:

— Aug. 18: "Making Buffers Work for Your Community, Clients and Residents" 

— Sept. 15: "Short-Term Rental Trends and How to Craft an Ordinance to Handle Them" 

— Oct. 20: "So, You Want Agriculture in Your Community? Have You Heard of PA Farm Link?"

— Nov. 17: "Advancing Racial Equity through Land-Use Planning"

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost is also $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits.

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing-education credits for a fee of $65. For anyone interested in a particular topic from the series, individual session registration is available for a $15 fee per session.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at To register for the webinars, visit the website.

Last Updated July 08, 2021