A neighborhood-based group with hopes to improve access, safety and appearance at a busy Burlington intersection has been selected to receive a Community Action Sponsorship from AARP Vermont. The focus of the planning initiative is the intersection in Burlington’s South End where five streets converge (at the corner of Howard and St. Paul Streets).
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The $2,000 award will help the grassroots organization hire a facilitator, organize neighborhood meetings and ultimately develop a work plan for agreed-upon improvements. Resident Scott Mapes is playing a key leadership role and a group of over 20 residents have been meeting to review ideas and plans to move the project forward.
“This proposal presents a unique opportunity for AARP to be a catalyst for change which will be driven by active and motivated members of a particular neighborhood,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur of AARP Vermont. “Our support will help jump start a community development process that we hope will lead to some meaningful improvements in this very busy intersection that sits in the heart of a residential neighborhood. These sponsorships are intended to inspire and support grassroots groups that have a vision for their neighborhood or the city and how it can be improved. This project is an excellent example of what we hope to encourage.”
AARP Vermont launched the Community Action Sponsorship Program in 2010 as a way to provide modest grant funds and technical support to community groups whose missions were consistent with those of the Burlington Livable Community Project. This citywide collaborative project seeks to prepare Burlington for the rapidly aging demographic shift – particularly in the areas of housing, mobility and community engagement.
The Community Action Sponsorships are one-time funding for a 12-month period and awardees receive technical assistance and training from AARP staff.
The program is directed at grassroots groups within Burlington that seek to advocate or make specific improvements in the following areas:
- Affordable housing options for older residents
- Delivery of services to help older residents age in the setting of their choice
- Pedestrian infrastructure (sidewalks, amenities for walkers, public art, safe street crossings, navigation, etc.)
- Public transit
- Fostering intergenerational and multi-cultural connection
- Financial security for low income older residents
- Socialization and fostering community connection for older residents
- Education and awareness about LGBTQ elders
- Community accessibility for disabled residents
Learn more about AARP Vermont’s commitment to livable communities in Burlington.