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AARP Community Challenge Project Examples

A look at some of the efforts we funded in 2017, organized by category

For the first-ever AARP Community Challenge, AARP received almost 1,200 applications, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. Below, organized by category, are examples of the projects we funded. See the complete list of 2017 grantees.

AARP Community Challenge

Projects listed below with a [WWL] are featured in the 2018 edition of Where We Live

1. CATEGORY GOAL
Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options in the community through permanent or temporary solutions to increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, and access to public and private transit.

  • Chino Valley, Arizona: Yavapai Regional Transit Inc.
    The grant was used to install a much-needed ADA-compliant walkway, bench and bus stop shelter. [WWL]

  • West Sacramento, California: City of West Sacramento
    The grant money was used to improve pedestrian safety by adjusting signal timing and installing pedestrian-controlled crosswalk buttons near a housing development occupied by older adults. [WWL]

  • Dover, Delaware: City of Dover
    Grant funds financed signage along walking paths to promote the reopening of a long-closed trail. 

  • St. Paul, Minnesota: Department of Public Works
    The city made crosswalks more visible to roadway users by adding art and creative features and installed, for demonstration purposes, temporary pedestrian safety elements to improve walkability.

  • Newburgh, New York: City of Newburgh
    A demonstration was staged as part of the city and Orange County’s Complete Streets program for Lake Street.

  • Orange County, North Carolina: Orange County Department on Aging
    In conjunction with the county’s public transportation department, the grant was used to improve bus stop locations that lacked adequate shelters, benches or even flat areas for waiting passengers. [WWL]

2. CATEGORY GOAL
Support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options

  • Eugene, Oregon: SquareOne Villages
    Grant funds were used for construction materials to complete an ADA-compliant tiny home in Emerald Village, an affordable housing community of 22 tiny houses. [WWL]

  • Farmville, Virginia: Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity
    The funding supported a mobile repair trailer for storing and transporting tools used to make safety improvements in homes that, in many cases, have been in families for generations and are in need of significant repair. [WWL] Watch a video about this project

  • Bethel, Maine: Bethel Area Age-Friendly
    The grant was used to construct a display and kit featuring tools and household accessories that can make a home safer and help prevent falls.

3. CATEGORY GOAL
Create vibrant public places in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

  • Columbia, South Carolina: City of Columbia
    Funding was provided to install seating along Main Street, an area that attracts pedestrians and hosts events that draw people from the surrounding region. [WWL]

Macon, Georgia: South Macon Arts Revitalization Technology, Inc.
Outdoor chess/checkers tables and a Connect Four game were purchased and installed on the grounds of a planned community center.  [WWL] Watch a video about this project

  • Gulfport, Mississippi: City of Gulfport
    The grant was used to create Bark Park on an acre of property at the new Brickyard Bayou Park, which is located in a part of the city that was devastated during Hurricane Katrina. [WWL]

  • Boise, Idaho: Idaho Smart Growth
    On October 21, 2017, the Bernie Fisher Parking Lot in downtown Kuna was transformed into a pop-up plaza project that demonstrated the benefits of public gathering places. [WWL] Watch a video about this project

  • Carlisle, Iowa: City of Carlisle
    To help create a more walkable and attractive community, the city installed 10 benches, 10 planters, eight bicycle racks and 20 banner-sign mounts for its trails and downtown. 

  • Lexington, Kentucky: Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government
    ADA-accessible benches were placed in a U-shaped, conversation-friendly configuration in Idle Hour Park. Watch a video about this project

  • Wayne, Michigan: Wayne Ripple Effect
    An underutilized alleyway owned by the city was transformed into a gathering and event space. Watch a video about this project

  • Oconomowoc, Wisconsin: City of Oconomowoc
    The AARP grant helped turn an underutilized alley into a corridor connecting the main street with a nearby lake. [WWL]

  • Washington, D.C.: Van Ness Main Street
    This intergenerational project brought together older adults and millennials to create a new public space for people of all ages.

OTHER COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENTS

  • Seattle, Washington: City of Seattle
    A hackathon called A City for All was held to coincide with the National Day for Civic Hacking. The event helped participants learn about age-friendly initiatives and related issues. [WWL] Watch a video about this project

  • Truth or Consequences, New Mexico: Main Street Truth or Consequences
    Grant funds were used to improve the walkability of the downtown area and create the Walk Downtown outreach program. 

AARP Community Challenge Resources

Go to the AARP Community Challenge Home PageAARP.org/CommunityChallenge

Questions? Email Us: CommunityChallenge@aarp.org

Page published March 2018