Three small organizations with big plans have been selected to receive Community Action Sponsorships from AARP Vermont to support their efforts to make Burlington a more livable city. AARP Vermont launched the Community Action Sponsorship Program in February 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.
After a thorough review process, the following three projects were selected to receive $2000 each:
- Burlington K.I.N. (kinship information & navigation)
- Champlain Senior Center
- 127 Bike Path Entrance Improvement Group
Burlington KIN is a support and resource group providing help to grandparents and other relatives raising children of their kin. Funds will support outreach efforts to identify and link grandparents and kinship care providers to available programs and assistance, including materials and meeting resources to better reach these caregivers.
The Champlain Senior Center will use funds to hold three multicultural dinners at the center. Throughout the year the center will invite members of Burlington’s New American community -- Nepalese, Vietnamese, Bosnian and Somali Bantus -- to share a meal and cultural entertainment while sampling traditional cooking and the hospitality of area seniors.
The Bike Path Entrance Improvement Group seeks to make enduring improvements to a long neglected area of Burlington’s Old North End by constructing an interpretive kiosk and signage for city destinations at the entrance to the 127 multiuse path off of Manhattan Drive. The current path connects users to Burlington’s historic Old North End with no directions on where to go next. The kiosk is part of a larger effort to improve the entrance to the recreation path.
The Community Action Sponsorships are one-time funding for a 12-month period and awardees receive technical assistance and training from AARP staff.
“We are very pleased to extend support to these projects as a way to foster local community development initiatives,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur of AARP Vermont. “We received a broad range of proposals to consider and it was a difficult selection process,” she said. “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.”