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AARP Community Challenge 2019 - Winning Grantees Skip to content

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AARP Community Challenge 2019 Grantees

159 quick-action projects help make communities more livable for people of all ages

For the third annual AARP Community Challenge, AARP received more than 1,660 applications from nonprofits and government entities, resulting in a highly competitive selection process. A total of nearly $1.6 million was distributed to fund 159 quick-action projects across the country, helping communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.

And the Winners Are ...

AARP Community Challenge 2019 Winning Grantees

This list of AARP Community Challenge grantees is organized by state and location, followed by the name of the grantee organization and a brief project description. Grantees have a project completion deadline of November 4, 2019. 

Winning projects will achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

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

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

  • Support the availability of a range of housing in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options.
  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” to encourage the development and implementation of innovative decision-making and programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding, and using data to increase the quality of life for residents. 

  • Other community improvements based on the most important needs in a community and the best quick-action ideas for addressing them.

The following proposals were prioritized over those supporting programming or events:

  • Permanent physical improvements in the community
  • Temporary demonstrations that lead to long-term change
  • New, innovative programming or services

Alabama

  • Camden: Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center
    This grant will support the "Sharing Our Stories One Bench at a Time" project and bring together local artists and volunteers of all ages to create 10 mosaic benches to be placed throughout Camden's historic downtown.
  • Huntsville: South Huntsville Business Association
    A local artist and volunteers will work together to design, produce, and install 15 artistic, place-making bike racks at local businesses and public spaces. 
  • Wetumpka: Main Street Wetumpka
    A neglected alleyway that hosts a 90-foot mural displaying the community’s history will be activated with six benches, green space, LED lighting, stonework, movable furniture, and a space dedicated to live music.

Alaska

  • Anchorage: Bike Anchorage
    A mobile trailer will be purchased and outfitted with materials including bollards, rubber bricks, traffic cones, and signage to complete pop-up demonstration projects throughout the community.
  • Anchorage: Cook Inlet Housing Authority
    Wayfinding signs incorporating indigenous place names and symbols; dog waste stations; and garbage receptacles will be added to a walking trail that connects senior and family housing to create a more inviting, safer, and cleaner environment.
  • Homer: Kachemak Heritage Land Trust
    As part of long-term effort to build an accessible trail through a public park, this grant will help design and install signage for visually impaired visitors.

Arizona

  • Payson: Town of Payson
    As part of ongoing revitalization and improvements along historic main street, the town will pilot two new creative artistic crosswalks with ADA compliant curb ramps and solar push button crosswalk signs.

  • Tucson: City of Tucson and Tucson Clean & Beautiful
    This grant will help increase the availability of recreational activities at a park adjacent to senior and disabled public housing by installing an accessible walking path, seating, interpretive signage about native plants, and a dog comfort station.

Arkansas

  • Batesville: Main Street Batesville
    A new concrete and brick pathway and wayfinding signage will be completed to improve access to a new park connected to the community’s main street.

  • Benton: City of Benton
    As part of an effort to improve walkability and reduce traffic speeds, two artistic, colorful crosswalks will be installed in the center block of this historic downtown district.

  • West Memphis: Main Street West Memphis
    Students, artists, and volunteers will work together to install a parklet with LED lights and create a public art project that features bicycles.

California

  • Los Angeles: Thai Community Development Center
    After community listening sessions are conducted to determine the focus, a mural and planters will be installed on a central community building in Thai Town to beautify the space and make it more inviting.

  • Los Angeles: Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
    To activate areas of the future Golden Age Park – a park designed for older adults – this project will install a communal tool shed, exercise equipment, accessible raised planters, picnic tables and a BBQ pit. 

  • San Diego: City Heights Community Development Corporation
    A vacant, fenced in and inaccessible lot positioned near a commercial corridor will be transformed into a public space by installing lighting, seating, murals and other public art displays, and kiosks for local artists to sell their goods.

  • West Sacramento: City of West Sacramento
    The city will provide targeted fire safety education to a cohort of older adult households that are at heightened risk and will also offer an in-home consultation and free smoke alarms and installation.

Colorado

  • Granby: Granby Chamber of Commerce
    Intergenerational artists will beautify the town's main street by creating a series of unique artistic murals.

  • Grand Junction: Mesa County Public Library District
    This project will enhance inter-generational engagement by improving the Discovery Garden with comfortable and safe walking trails and places to sit and enjoy the surroundings. 

  • Lake City: Lake City DIRT
    Electricity and lighting will be added to a pavilion in a public park frequently used for gatherings and events.

  • Leadville: City of Leadville
    To activate a downtown park space that has been neglected and underutilized for many years, the city will host listening sessions with the community and install new seating and a fire pit.
  • Paonia: Town of Paonia
    An underutilized pocket park will be improved with new lighting, a "conversation circle" with tables and benches where residents can gather in a friendly social space, and other improvements to increase access for those with limited mobility issues.

Connecticut

  • East Hartford: Goodwin College
    By installing a new accessible picnic area along a greenway and activating it with programming, this project seeks to improve quality of life and promote a range of health benefits for residents and visitors.
  • Wethersfield: Town of Wethersfield
    To improve the walkability and bikeability of the town, bike racks, signage and benches will be installed at a number of locations including recreational areas, municipal facilities and centers of business activity. Walk and bike path maps will also be posted online.

Delaware

  • Wilmington: Y Innovations Inc.
    This project will clean up a currently blighted lot and turn it into an attractive community gathering space with fencing and benches.
  • Wilmington: Wilmington Renaissance Corporation
    Part of a larger park reclamation project, 10 raised garden beds that are ADA-compliant and accessible to residents will be created. 

District of Columbia

  • Washington, D.C.: Community Foodworks
    To improve older adults' access to nutrition and engagement in the community "Rest & Rehydration" stations that include shade tents, tables, seating, water for public consumption and live music entertainment will be added to three local farmers markets. 
  • Washington, D.C.: Safe Routes Partnership
    Grant funds will be used to bring awareness to traffic safety concerns in the city's Bellevue neighborhood through walk audits and traffic calming demonstrations.

Florida

  • Gainesville: City of Gainesville
    Gainesville will host a month-long "Smart City Pop-up Living Lab" to engage residents in hands-on interactive exhibits that encourage thoughtful community dialogue on data, connected technologies, and quality of life. Physical exhibits will be made mobile when possible and will be offered in a digital format for web-based engagement.

  • Pensacola: Keep Pensacola Beautiful
    New landscaping, shade trees, pollinator gardens and waste receptacles will be installed at a musical instrument garden, which will ultimately help increase the public's use of and engagement with the space.
  • St. Petersburg: Florida Dream Center, Inc.
    To help reduce and address code violations, this project will engage residents through door- to-door outreach and make improvements to a number of homes in the community. 

  • Tallahassee: City of Tallahassee
    A new 860-foot linear park, with a  bench swing, accessible water fountain and signage, will connect two existing neighborhood parks, as well as a 16-mile rail trail to the coast.

Georgia

  • Atlanta: Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
    To help improve the safety of a notoriously dangerous street for walking and bicycling,  small-scale, inexpensive traffic calming devices (including a painted bike line, bollards, a parklet and signage) will be installed, tested and refined.

  • Cuthbert: Andrew College
    A town square and adjoining alleyway with newly painted murals that is a frequent gathering place for people of all ages will receive 12 new benches, lighting and a pergola.

  • Newnan: Newnan Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Newnan Program
    By activating a neglected alleyway, funds will help provide a vital connection to an interactive trail system that will span the downtown.

Hawaii

  • Honolulu: Waikiki Community Center
    Grant funds will be used both to increase pedestrian safety through a public awareness program and to help beautify the community through painted utility boxes with cultural images and refreshed plantings for select streets.

  • Kailua-Kona: PATH~Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii
    To encourage healthier lifestyles and build on Kailua-Kona's current bikeshare system, this grant will add three additional stations and 27 additional bikes along with free memberships and programming to up to 100 residents.

  • Kaneohe: Rotary District 5000 Foundation and Rotary Club of Honolulu
    This project will add a pocket park with shade trees, paths and seating in Waikiki's high-rise-filled, urban environment.

Idaho

  • Boise: Idaho Walk Bike Alliance
    To support neighborhood efforts to calm traffic, this project will provide training and free loaner materials for residents to conduct pop up demonstrations in their communities. 
     
  • Driggs: City of Driggs
    The project will install one concrete outdoor foosball table and one concrete outdoor chess/game table and stools in a new public plaza space in the downtown area.

  • Sandpoint: Kaniksu Land Trust
    To allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy nature, this project will develop a half mile nature trail with seating in a peaceful, undeveloped setting.
  • Victor: Valley of the Tetons Library
    A public library will undergo improvements to increase the accessibility of the building for members of the community including new steps and an outdoor area with free internet access.

Illinois

  • Chicago: The Recyclery Collective
    In collaboration with local artists, this project will create "Art Potholes" to repair streets riddled with potholes. 

  • Chicago: Rogers Park Business Alliance
    A safe and inviting community space in a small public plaza called a "People Spot," which includes benches, plantings, and wayfinding and related beautification elements, will be created in a high pedestrian traffic area of the Clark Street commercial corridor.
  • Chicago: Elevate Energy
    This project will help low-income senior homeowners make comprehensive renovations to their two-unit buildings. The improvements include making accessibility upgrades and addressing deferred maintenance which will ultimately make the buildings less costly and stressful to operate, and add a new source of income for homeowners. 

Indiana

  • Fort Wayne: Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries Center
    This project will make the Mount Vernon Park Neighborhood a more walkable, safe, and healthy community by installing improvements in neighborhood public spaces (community sidewalks and right of ways) that celebrate the diversity, history, and culture of the area and by hosting intergenerational community events. 

Iowa

  • Des Moines: Iowa League of Cities
    This project aims to demonstrate smart cities innovation in rural communities by holding educational workshops on data analytics in local government, followed by an immersive quick-action demonstration project.
  • Dyersville: Dyersville Economic Development Corporation
    As part of flood recovery efforts, grant funds will support amenities for a community plaza and amphitheater created in a block of green space near downtown riverfront development.
  • Glidden: City of Glidden
    This project will create a trail that will connect the city's Aquatic Center and Northland Park and will include safety features to allow for safe highway crossings as part of the trail. 
  • Harlan: City of Harlan
    This project will create a StoryWalk, a trail that combines walking with stops for reading a narrative, which is an innovative way to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time.

Kansas


Kentucky

  • Danville: Community Arts Center
    Grant funds will help facilitate mosaic workshops with students at the Kentucky School for the Deaf with the goal of including their contributions in a large, visible piece of public artwork installed on one of the most prominent buildings in town.

  • Lexington: Seedleaf
    The project will provide gardening tools and resources designed for use by older adults that will be accessible to residents volunteering at a free u-pick garden.  
  • Louisville: Louisville Metro Government
    This project will address pedestrian safety issues by prioritizing pedestrian access to nearby amenities at a family life center and neighborhood park. Enhancements include improved visibility at crosswalks, upgrades/repairs to infrastructure and beautification.
  • Newport: ReNewport
    This project will enhance access and use of current bus routes in the neighborhood by adding seating, as well as other beautification and amenities for bus stops, such as bike racks, trees, flowers and trashcans.
  • Pikeville: City of Pikeville
    Grant funds will help create a vibrant public place — a civic plaza and outdoor arts venue — that will revitalize underutilized space in downtown. 

Louisiana

  • New Orleans: Water Wise Gulf South
    Funds will help establish a community orchard and garden to be used as a gathering space for events and green infrastructure demonstration projects.

  • Opelousas: City of Opelousas
    This project will help to create a more vibrant main street through accessible outdoor seating for four public gathering spaces, picnic tables that allow wheelchair access, and ADA-compliant benches. 
  • Tallulah: City of Tallulah
    Funds will be used to create new crosswalks designed to beautify the area, help increase physical activity, and draw attention to the crosswalks for drivers who may not be familiar with the area.

Maine

  • Belfast: Aging Well in Waldo County
    This project will help create and enhance public spaces within two libraries in the community by making repairs, beautifying the spaces and increasing accessibility.
  • Blue Hill: Healthy Peninsula
    This project will support the development of a Traveling Tool Table — a collection of useful, affordable devices to help older people remain independent — that will be launched at local libraries, some of the most popular gathering places in the community.

  • Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon Community Partnership Corporation
    To help residents age in place, grant funds will go toward a Tool Library to provide easy access to tools, especially for older adults in the community and volunteers who assist them.

  • Old Orchard Beach: Old Orchard Beach Community Friendly Connection
    This project will contribute to community efforts to revitalize and re-energize an entire block by engaging the neighborhood in a collaborative effort to clean up, restore, and refresh Atlantic Courts Park and Washington Ave district, including a walkable sidewalk demonstration. 

  • Portland: Portland Trails
    This project will upgrade a rustic trail in an urban greenspace into a trail that is accessible to wheelchairs and people of different abilities and improve access to walking, cycling options, and areas of natural beauty.

  • Presque Isle: City of Presque Isle
    The improvements to the Bike & Walking Trail will help increase use of the paved, lit trail, residents' movement and health, and opportunities for community member engagement. 

Maryland

  • Baltimore: Fells Point Main Street, Inc. and The Society for the Preservation of Fells Point and Federal Hill
    "Sunday in the Street" will convert streets in Fells Point to a car-free community space twice a month, allowing the residents and visitors to enjoy all that the area has to offer in a protected setting closed to motorized traffic.

  • Baltimore: Baltimore City Office of Information & Technology (BCIT)
    As part of a smart city initiative, an online tool will be developed that will allow residents and businesses to more easily access and use city services — for example, apply for government services and pay taxes — that can improve their daily lives. This tool will empower all city residents so that they have an efficient, meaningful experience when they engage with government.  

Massachusetts

  • Belchertown: Town of Belchertown
    This project will be used toward wayfinding components of the Lake Wallace Sensory Trail that helps to improve quality of life for residents, provide new recreational and educational opportunities, and contribute to the town's economic vitality. 
  • Boston: City of Boston
    Age-friendly benches will be installed in each of the main street districts to help engage older residents and enhance local economic activity. This project will go toward developing a framework for a sustainable city-wide bench program that addresses longer-term issues of installation and maintenance.
  • Chelsea: City of Chelsea
    Using community designed public art and quick build place-making tools, this project will beautify and activate one full city block on Division Street. This is the first important step to link the heart of downtown with the waterfront via a low stress neighborway street. 

  • Lynn: Beyond Walls, Inc. 
    This project will construct and activate a custom parklet program, creating public space platforms that convert curbside parking and other elements of the streetscape into vibrant community spaces. 

Michigan

  • Detroit: The Literacy Center
    Designed to develop an innovative transportation model for seniors, veterans and the disabled, this pilot project will deploy electric autonomous passenger shuttles for the purpose of medical appointments, pharmacy visits and community shopping.  

  • Lansing: Allen Neighborhood Center
    A bike repair station will be installed in Hunter Park allowing community members, neighbors and visitors to the area to service their bicycles independently.

Minnesota

  • Grand Rapids: Get Fit Itasca and Itasca County Family YMCA
    This project will create a focal point for pedestrian use of a river bank near downtown by installing public art, a map kiosk, and benches to encourage socialization and connection among people of all ages and abilities. 

  • Northfield: FiftyNorth and Age-friendly Northfield
    To encourage attendance by older adults and people with mobility challenges, this project will improve access to the city's numerous outdoor events by providing seating positioned and reserved specifically for seniors and handicapped individuals. 

  • St. Paul: Hamline Midway Coalition
    This project will create an improved pedestrian path buffered by raised planters, enhancing pedestrian accessibility and safety for residents and shoppers reliant on walking and transit.

Mississippi

  • Gulfport: City of Gulfport
    This project will add a safe weather pavilion and benches at a new bike trail system in Brickyard Bayou Park which is an area being revitalized since it was ravaged by flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Jackson: City of Jackson
    The City of Jackson will use Open Streets design practices to engage residents of the downtown community by activating new public spaces for people of all ages to interact with each other. Designing a parklet with a large mural backdrop and ground mural for safe crossing will enhance public safety by improving pedestrian accessibility. 

  • Starkville: Keep Starkville Beautiful
    This beautification project will make improvements and repairs to a busy transportation corridor through middle Starkville, enhancing pedestrian safety and overall experience along this travel route.

Missouri

  • Raytown: Raytown Chamber of Commerce Building Foundation, Inc.
    This project will provide amenities to encourage residents of all ages to use the Rock Island Trail by developing interactive areas for residents to rest, engage in bicycle maintenance, hydrate, and procure useful, relevant information about the community. 

  • St. Louis: Trailnet
    Grant funds will be used to alter a closed portion of Laclede Avenue to install a parklet with public seating, placemaking, and planters. These improvements will shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians, offer a safe resting place for cyclists, and create a new, inviting public space for customers and visitors.

Montana

  • Anaconda: Anaconda-Deer Lodge County
    This project will allow the purchase of ADA-compliant accessible picnic tables with attached benches enhancing the dining experience of senior residents, enriching their event experience through socialization.

  • Bozeman: Western Transportation Institute
    A traffic calming project — including improvements to pedestrian crossings, curb extensions and traffic circles — will offer an opportunity for continued engagement with neighborhood groups to optimize designs that make their streets friendlier for all. 

  • Missoula: Montana State Parks Foundation
    By adding a new ADA-compliant covering for the entrance to a cave maintained by the state park system, this project will expand guided recreation to people with physical disabilities who have traditionally been left out of caving, spelunking, and speleology activities.

Nebraska

  • Grand Island: Grow Grand Island, Inc.
    Way-finding totems will be strategically placed to help residents and visitors more easily navigate through historical features in the community. 

  • Hastings: City of Hastings
    This project will add needed amenities, such as stations where you can rest and hydrate, at activity centers throughout an existing walking trail.

Nevada

  • Carson City: Brewery Arts Center
    Improvements and enhancements — including new lighting and benches — to the area's bus stops will encourage residents to take advantage of public transportation that will allow them access to the art center's many events, classes, services and galleries. 

  • Henderson: City of Henderson
    This grant will improve community gardens in the City of Henderson and educate residents on maintenance for long-term success. 

New Hampshire

  • Derry: Marion Gerrish Community Center
    In an effort to further promote community bonding and to encourage multi-generational connections, this project will purchase several outdoor yard games (such as cornhole, bocce, chess, Jenga, Connect Four, and others) for use in space around a community center.
  • Goffstown: Friends of the Goffstown Rail Trail
    New wayfinding and informational signage will help make the community's rail trail safer for users of all ages, as well as provide helpful destination information and enhance safety at road crossings.
  • Lebanon: UVLSRPC
    This project will develop an Open Data Portal to host data and maps in an accessible and interactive framework that encourages community engagement and dialogue around housing, particularly for the needs of underserved groups.
  • Londonderry: Town of Londonderry
    This project will install ten park benches throughout the Town Common and Kent Allen Town Forest to enhance accessibility to public open spaces.

  • North Conway: HomeShare MWV-Gibson
    This project will include launching a website to inform and facilitate HomeShare matches between homeowners with extra living space and homeseekers willing to live in shared spaces.

New Jersey

  • Dunellen: Borough of Dunellen
    This beautification project will organize the community to help build and install shade trees, benches, and pollinator plants, as well as paint an existing footbridge to increase the vibrancy of a public park.

  • Teaneck: Township of Teaneck
    This project will help increase connectivity among township-sponsored activities by improving the safety conditions of Teaneck's pedestrian walkway network and fostering healthy lifestyles for all.
  • Westwood: Borough of Westwood
    Grant funds will go toward building a parklet to provide a safe and enjoyable area for residents to sit and relax while in the business district. 

New Mexico

  • Albuquerque: Barelas Community Coalition 
    This project will provide enhancements — including lighting, shade, signage and more — to The Marketplace, a welcoming gathering space that bring together young and old to eat, play, and learn together in a creative hub built by the community for the community. 

  • Farmington: City of Farmington/Downtown Farmington: A Main Street Project
    Redesigning more than six blocks of Main Street will provide a slower, safer, pedestrian-friendly downtown for all users. This redesign will include the addition of lighting, shade, trees and amenities that will redefine the pocket plaza into a lively area for all ages to gather and socialize.

  • Silver City: Silver City Main Street
    This project will install a traffic calming mural, wayfinding, and new landscaping to improve safe pedestrian access to Big Ditch Park, increasing engagement, physical activity, economic activity downtown, and livability for residents of all ages.

New York

  • Champlain: Village of Champlain
    A freestanding launch port system for kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards will encourage use of the lake and provide physical activity opportunities for residents of all ages.

  • Kingston: City of Kingston Live Well Commission
    This project will encourage the use of an urban park by installing concrete chess tables with seating to allow a space for people of all generations to engage in chess play. 

  • Saratoga Springs: City of Saratoga Springs
    Grant funds will be used to install a temporary two-way cycle track, parking and wayfinding to enhance general safety and to make biking more accessible for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities.

North Carolina

  • Asheville: Buncombe County Recreation Services
    A musical garden including Lilypad Cymbals, a Tenor Tree, Tuned Drums, and Flower Gongs  will be incorporated in an existing intergenerational space which will allow visitors of all ages to interact with each other, socialize, and enjoy the community.

  • Charlotte: Sustain Charlotte
    The grant will be used to add trails and wayfinding signage to an underutilized park to increase recreational activity and connectivity between neighborhoods and create a more walkable, bikeable, public transit-friendly environment for people of all ages and abilities.

  • Mount Airy: Mount Airy Parks and Recreation 
    This project will encourage engagement for people of all ages and promote physical activity, socialization, and a family atmosphere by adding benches, bike racks, signage and trees to community parks. 

  • Trenton: Town of Trenton
    Heroes Park will honor the heroes that saved so many during the Hurricane Florence storm. The park will be developed with senior mobility in mind, including a hero's memorial, beautification, and a space for entertainment.

North Dakota

  • Forman: City of Forman
    This project will add seating, an arbor to provide protection from sun and elements, and beautification, including planters to help revitalize a declining part of town and transform it into a practical area for people to meet and visit.

  • Jamestown: Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department
    This project will use "Walk/Bike 2019!" as a quick action event to inform and catalyze the community, assess public support, and gather data necessary to improve livability for people of all ages.

  • West Fargo: City of West Fargo
    An assortment of game tables with chairs will be installed in the new city-owned plaza to create an environment that is inviting and accommodating to people of all age groups.

Ohio

  • Leipsic: Village of Leipsic
    This project will create a more inviting gathering space for people of all ages through new outdoor games and a fire pit area.

  • Lorain: City of Lorain
    This project will create and expand Lorain's welcoming, safe, and accessible network of destinations. Enhancements to Falbo Park will create an equitable and reliable place for intergenerational physical activity, play and community cohesion.

Oklahoma

  • Anadarko: Delaware Nation of Oklahoma
    This project will enhance the community by providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables through raised garden beds and will provide healthier lifestyle options and educate the community to make healthier lifestyle choices.

  • Elk City: City of Elk City
    This grant will improve the Elk City Community Garden and help it reach people of all ages in our community by adding table gardens and benches. These additions will encourage social activity, opportunities to learn about gardening and healthy lifestyles, and availability of fresh vegetables.
      
  • McAlester: City of McAlester
    The City of McAlester will transform an underutilized parking lot into a greenspace through quick-action place-making using flexible amenities and behavior observations. This innovative approach will develop an interconnected and intergenerational space near healthcare, retail, and services to increase the quality of life for residents of all ages.

Oregon

  • Portland: APANO Communities United Fund
    This new pilot program will engage elders in the Jade District and teach them to use technology to increase mobility and connect to community resources. 

  • Salem: Center 50+/City of Salem
    This project will activate a vacant downtown storefront to create a pop-up summer program that is free and available to people of all ages and abilities. It will also provide hands-on educational opportunities to help assist citizens, especially seniors, with navigating the public transit system and downtown wayfinding. 

  • Talent: Talent Maker City
    This project will improve older adults' engagement with the downtown community by using innovative intergenerational programming focused on empowering older adults to use STEAM skills such as carpentry, screenprinting and more in the city's downtown "maker space."

Pennsylvania

  • Allentown: United Way of the Greater LeHigh Valley
    The project will improve a public space adjacent to a senior center and an area of the community used by people of all ages by adding tables, benches and chairs, lighting and flower beds. 

  • Philadelphia: Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
    This project will utilize placemaking tools to begin making small scale, low cost but high impact changes — including traffic calming and beautifying area fences — along Germantown Avenue, making it safer and more accessible.

  • Philadelphia: City of Philadelphia, Office of Community Empowerment & Opportunity
    The eviction prevention landlord-tenant mediation program will utilize mediation, financial assistance, information, and referrals to reach mutually agreeable solutions in landlord-tenant disputes, reduce eviction and displacement, and foster vibrant, inclusive communities for residents of all income levels. 

  • Pittsburgh: Grounded Strategies
    This grant improves the Hill District by recrutiing volunteers to help activate reclaiming vacant land in the community.

  • Malvern: Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC)
    Grant funds will support large-print, bi-lingual bus schedule signs that will improve the livability and accessibility of bus lines by making the bus system easier to interpret and use, as well as increasing the number of senior and Spanish-speaking riders.

  • Upper Darby: Upper Darby Township Community Development
    This project will help bring renewed activity, improve safety and add a dynamic feel to downtown Upper Darby (a multicultural gateway community into Philadelphia from the suburbs) by installing lighting, seating, and a mural along a path to a shopping and service corridor. 

Puerto Rico

  • San Juan: Sila M. Calderon Foundation, Inc.
    This grant will contribute to improve quality of life for community residents by providing workshops, external resources, technical assistance, and community outreach events. These efforts will contribute toward increasing income and strengthening small business and jobs creation. 

Rhode Island

  • Pawtucket: Pawtucket Division of Senior Services, Leon Mathieu Senior Center
    The project will create an Outdoor Activity Center that includes seating, planters and large-scale outdoor game stations, all of which are designed to encourage older adults and community members to socialize, exercise, and enjoy nature.   

  • Providence: Amos House
    This project will improve access to fresh food in South Providence by developing a volunteer managed garden. Food harvested from this project will be prepared and served in the local soup kitchen that provides over 130,000 meals to community members each year. 

South Carolina

  • Anderson: Anderson Arts Center
    This project will revitalize a public space with a mural and a community garden, which will open opportunities to educate residents in art as well as produce food to help those in need. 

  • Charleston: American College of the Building Arts 
    This project will engage the community to build and install benches and a new pergola to create a community gathering space that will improve rural livability, community engagement, and support residents of all ages to relax and gather in this public space. 

South Dakota

  • Fort Pierre: Fort Pierre Community Gardens
    This grant will improve Fort Pierre by developing a community garden, providing an opportunity for people of all ages — but particularly those over 50 or with disabilities — to grow a garden. The garden will also promote social interaction, physical activity in the outdoors, and fresh produce for a healthy diet.
  • Lemmon: Lemmon Public Library
    This project will enhance the lives of people in the community by providing the infrastructure in an existing place (library) to give them an opportunity to combat loneliness and promote community.
  • Pine Ridge: Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
    This grant will improve multigenerational access to a playground proposed for the Regenerative Community Development project ensuring that users of all ages and mobility will be able to access and enjoy periods of prolonged activity. 

  • Sioux Falls: Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc.
    This grant will improve walkability in two areas of downtown Sioux Falls by funding crosswalk enhancements that will calm traffic and create a more accessible and appealing public realm while improving safety and comfort for people of all ages and abilities.

Tennessee

  • Athens: Habitat for Humanity of McMinn County
    This grant will improve McMinn County by enriching the life of a local 50-plus family who is currently living in sub-standard conditions by providing housing, as well as training and resources, for the homeowners.

  • Clarksville: City of Clarksville
    The grant will increase pedestrian activity by providing Clarksville's citizens and visitors wayfinding signs near underutilized parking lots and structures less central to the downtown area. 

  • Memphis: The Works, Inc.
    This grant will improve South Memphis and its Soulsville neighborhood by simultaneously beautifying the street and improving cyclist and pedestrian safety. A site-specific artistic crosswalk will help foster a sense of civic pride for neighborhood residents. 

  • Nashville: Urban Housing Solutions
    This project will improve the Mercury Courts community by enhancing common amenities and reduce social isolation by providing space for older residents to gather and build relationships. It will also foster engagement in visioning and design for future redevelopment.

Texas

  • Allen: City of Allen
    This project will enable the purchase of four eWheels EW-29 Electric Tricycles to provide new, innovative programming at a community center designed to promote physical outdoor activity.

  • Brownsville: City of Brownsville
    This project will transform and activate Brownsville's 14th Street Plaza by installing wayfinding, adding creative placemaking elements that support local artists, providing seating options for people of all ages, and adding landscaping elements. 

  • Richardson: City of Richardson
    This project will help improve and enhance the connectivity, mobility, and safety of Richardson residents, workers, and older adults who rely on public transit. Specifically, this project will showcase short-term alterations to improve a key corridor that currently serves as a barrier to pedestrians and lacks on-street bicycle infrastructure.

Utah

  • Cedar City: Iron County Tourism Bureau
    This project serves as a catalyst for better connectivity and walkability along three blocks of Cedar City's University Boulevard through pedestrian safety enhancements, wayfinding signage, open space amenities, bus shelter and public art.

  • Green River: Epicenter
    This grant will demonstrate and encourage new housing options for low-to-moderate income older adults by constructing a model "Frontier House." This model will be developed with input from older adults and include a focus on accessibility and low maintenance that will help residents age in place in their community. 

Vermont

  • Bennington: Town of Bennington, Office of Community Development
    This project will revitalize a park in Bennington in a densely populated residential area as an outdoor recreation destination and community gathering place that reaches across generations. 

  • Newport: City of Newport
    When complete, this project will help join three segments of land to form a seven-mile waterfront recreational corrider for Newport including trails and a much-needed bridge.  

Virgin Islands


Virginia

  • Bedford: Town of Bedford
    This project will add benches, bike racks, signage and trash cans along three walk and bike loops, integrating public art into benches and bike racks. The entire project will be done while capturing public input.

  • Richmond: Storefront for Community Design
    Much-needed pedestrian amenities, including benches and directional signage, will be provided through this grant for walking loops on the south side of Richmond that connects low- to moderate-income residents to the neighborhood grocery and downtown. 

Washington

  • Seattle: Pike Market Food Bank
    This project will help spruce up the Pike Market Food Bank with directional signage making it easier for individuals with disabilities and hundreds of low-income and senior residents to access the space. 

  • Seattle: Pike Place Market Foundation
    This bountiful volunteer-run space that provides produce to the Pike Market Food Bank will be upgraded to increase its capacity for production and made more accessible for all. 

  •  Seattle: Rebuilding Together Seattle
    This grant will fund three key projects that will improve the Southeast Seattle Senior Center's visibility, increase ADA-compliant parking, and engage and connect a diverse range of community members. 

  • Seattle: Sound Generations
    Sound Generations will partner with Hopelink on educational efforts to help those in need understand and access a variety of transportation options, which will increase independence and mobility leading to enhanced social engagement. 

West Virginia

  • Charleston: City of Charleston
    The grant will help make the East End Community Park more inviting and appealing for all ages by adding a splash pad, playground stuctures, suitable lighting and greenery. 

  • Kingwood: Preston County Parks and Recreation Commission
    Trailhead Park will be improved and made more accessible through this grant with directional signage, a picnic table, bike rack and bench.  In addition, the grant will help fund several pilot programming activites to increase social engagement for all residents.

Wisconsin

  • Bayfield: Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands, Inc.
    This project will help residents, especially those with reduced and limited physical abilities, to access and enjoy nature by installing a wheelchair accessible walkway in the North Pikes Creek Wetlands. 

  • Beaver Dam: City of Beaver Dam
    To help residents engage and enjoy their community, grant funds will be used to improve the Mural Walking Tour by adding benches along the trail that showcases 17 murals of memorable images of historic significance.

  • Berlin: City of Berlin Parks and Recreation Department
    The City of Berlin will improve outdoor space and stir up residents' creativity by hosting a bench painting contest. Winning selections will then be placed in a park for all to enjoy. 

  • Ellsworth: Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce
    Utilizing tactical urbanism techniques, Ellsworth will use this grant to engage the community in revitalizing the East End corridor through a "then & now & future" walking tour and opportunities to create a charming, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood for all to enjoy. 

  • Greendale: Village of Greendale (Health Department)
    Older adult focus groups pinpointed a need that this grant will fill for directional signage, benches and walking path maps in Greendale.  

  • Sheboygan: City of Sheboygan
    This project will enhance the city of Sheboygan's downtown historical walking tour of nearly 100 historic structures and events with signage, an online app and paper maps for non-computer/smartphone users. 

Wyoming

  • Jackson: Town of Jackson
    The historic Town Square will be improved by involving the community in the design of an improved public space — including bike parking for adaptive cycles — on Center Street in downtown Jackson. 
     
  • Sheridan: North Main Association
    This project will help deliver on a vision of an ideal visit to the parks in Sheridan, including for the visually impaired and those with balance issues, by adding a gazebo, picnic tables and benches to area trails. 

AARP Community Challenge Resources

AARP Community Challenge Home Page: Visit AARP.org/CommunityChallenge

The Grantees List: Look up the Challenge Winners by State or Year

Questions: Contact us by emailing CommunityChallenge@AARP.org

Learn When to Apply: Subscribe to the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter

Page published July 17, 2019