For the sixth annual AARP Community Challenge, AARP received more than 3,200 applications from nonprofits and government entities, resulting in a highly competitive selection process.
And the Grantees Are ...
The list of AARP Community Challenge grantees (below) is organized by state and location, followed by the name of the grantee organization and a brief project description.
The projects need to be completed by November 30, 2022.
Some $3.4 million is being distributed to fund 260 quick-action projects across the country, helping urban, rural and suburban communities make immediate improvements and jumpstart long-term progress to support residents of all ages.
AARP Community Challenge grants will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grants will improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over. Many of this year’s projects will help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The selected projects are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Create vibrant Public Places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities
- Deliver a range of Transportation and Mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements
- Support a range of Housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices
- Ensure a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion while improving the Built and Social Environment of a community
“Helping adults thrive as they age has never been more important, and AARP is dedicated to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes. This year, we are proud to support the largest number of projects in the AARP Community Challenge’s six-year history to help communities leverage opportunities with historic federal investments.”
— Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer
- Support communities’ efforts to Build Engagement and Leverage Funding available under new federal programs through laws including the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more
- Increase Civic Engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion
- Other community improvements, including Health Services, Community Development, and Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery
If a grantee has a website or online presence, its name appears in blue and is hyperlinked.
- Birmingham: Urban Impact
The project will develop intergenerational activities and lifelong learning opportunities that strengthen the sense of community as well as individuals’ sense of belonging.
- Boligee: Town of Boligee
The Bobcats Paw Trail will be improved with flower boxes, lighting and more.
- Mobile: Mobile Medical Museum
Walkways around the museum’s community garden will be renovated to make them fully ADA-compliant.
- Monroeville: Monroeville Main Street
The downtown organization will use the grant for community activities that are healthy, affordable, educational and multigenerational.
- Opelika: Opelika Main Street
An outdoor game station will be installed in an underutilized public space so residents and visitors can have fun and spend time downtown.
- Anchorage: Anchorage Navy League Council 151
The grant will be used to develop a Sea Services Memorial at the existing USS Anchorage anchor site to honor the two ships of that name, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Alaska division and the World War II history of Dutch Harbor, which is an Aleutian Island port located 800 miles southwest of Anchorage.
- City and Borough of Juneau: Thane Community Garden Association
Volunteers age 50 or older will help create a community garden that will serve as a social hub, outdoor classroom and natural “health club.”
- St. George: Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association
The grant will help improve St. George’s food security and overall livability by revitalizing its greenhouse, which is also used as a community gathering space.
- Valdez: Valdez Adventure Alliance
A popular local trail will be modified to accommodate wheelchair and stroller users as well as other visitors who have limited or different mobility abilities.
- Wasilla: Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc.
Nine ADA-compliant benches and 22 planters will be purchased and installed.
- Camp Verde: Camp Verde Parks & Recreation Division
A shaded, hard-surface area will be added to Heritage Pool, along with picnic tables and additional programming, such as exercise and Aqua Zumba classes.
- Hopi and Navajo Reservations: Red Feather
Selected elders will be provided with home modifications such as ADA ramps, grab bars, HEPA filters and (if the home has no running water) handwashing systems.
- Maricopa County: G.A.S.K.I.N.S. Charity
The program will conduct aging in place assessments for older adult homeowners and install technology and equipment to help people remain in their homes.
- Phoenix and Scottsdale: Elaine
Transportation to medical appointments, job and housing interviews, the grocery store and similar destinations will be provided to hundreds of the most vulnerable members of the two communities.
- Tuba City: Change Labs
A crumbling, 1,000-foot sidewalk that runs from the Tuba City Police Department to the local community center and health clinic will be replaced.
- Yuma: Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area
ADA-compliant picnic tables, benches and bike racks will be installed at a new nature park frequented by older adults.
- Blytheville: Main Street Blytheville
New curb ramps suitable for wheelchair users will be added in the downtown area.
- Corning: City of Corning
ADA-compliant benches will be added along Wynn Park’s walking path and at the Clay County Courthouse.
- Fayetteville: Fayetteville Housing Authority
A gazebo and pergola on the grounds of Hillcrest Towers, a high-rise for older adults and the disabled, will be replaced. New seating, raised garden beds, solar lighting and an outdoor projector and screen will be added.
- Morrilton: Conway County Center for Exceptional Children, ACTION Services
A concrete slab will be poured to serve as a play surface and location for raised-bed garden boxes on wheels.
- Compton: Los Angeles Conservation Corps
Planting events at the Compton Creek Natural Park will replace white alder trees with drought-tolerant species and surround them with native plants.
- Fullerton: Providence St. Jude Medical Center
Twice-weekly training sessions on outdoor fitness equipment will be hosted at four parks frequented by older adults.
- Lake County: Lake Links
The funds will be used for a new, easy-to-use ride service program for older adults and people with disabilities.
- Pollock Pines: Community Economic Development Association Pollock Pines (CEDAPP)
The town’s first public park will be Western-themed, feature a nature trail and outdoor fitness equipment.
- San Diego: Bayside Community Center
A dirt patch at the Linda Vista Community Park will be turned into a garden, providing produce for a local environmental learning center and serving as an alternative food source in an area that's largely a food desert.
- San Diego: Disabled Services Advisory Council, City of San Diego Parks
An overgrown lot at the Park de la Cruz Community Center will be turned into a garden with raised flower beds and accessible seating.
- San Francisco: SF Tech Council (a program of the Community Living Campaign)
Pop-up events offering free, multilingual tech support to older adults will be staged in four underserved neighborhood.
- San Francisco: Tenderloin Community Benefit District
An alleyway will be enlivened with murals, planters, tables and chairs, ADA-compliant benches, music performances and more.
- San Mateo County: Peninsula Volunteers, Inc
A program providing reduced-cost rides service for older adults via Lyft and Uber will be expanded into the northern reaches of San Mateo County.
- Bristol: Town of Bristol Improvements Board
A garden with raised bed planters and ADA-compliant benches — as well as an historical mural, veterans memorial and wind sculpture — will be installed at the town’s new community center.
- Carbondale: Carbondale Age Friendly Community Initiative (CAFCI)
A garden will be planted along the Rio Grande Trail featuring drought-resistant pollinator plants and shaded, ADA-compliant seating.
- Lakewood: Alameda Connects & Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District (AC & ACBID)
Three murals will be painted on the ground along the corridor from Eaton Senior Communities to the Belmar downtown district. An ADA-compliant bench will be installed at a low-income apartment complex.
- Trinidad: Trinidad History Museum, History Colorado
The museum garden will be restored and divided into seven specialty gardens (dye, herb, heritage, high altitude/low water, medicinal, and vegetable), which will feature raised planting beds and ADA-compliant seating.
- Bolton: Bolton Senior Center
A pickleball court and bench will be installed behind the senior center.
- Farmington: Town of Farmington
A bike rack, benches and wayfinding signage will be added to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail.
- Stratford: Town of Stratford
Maps of 12 walking routes will be updated and digitized. Four benches will be installed along the routes. A kickoff event will encourage people of all ages to walk more often.
- Dover: City of Dover
Three bicycle repair stations will be installed along the Capital City Trail and outside the public library.
- Georgetown: Georgetown Public Library
Grant funds will be used to create a computer lab that can be used by library patrons and a classroom for computer lessons.
- Milton: Town of Milton
A walking tour map will be published and 12 crosswalks will be painted with colorful designs to slow traffic.
- Wilmington: Delaware Nature Society
Amenities including benches, shade trees and interpretive panels will be added to a new but underused wetland park. Guides will be hired to lead nature walks and help visitors monitor water quality.
District of Columbia
- Washington, D.C: Carpe Diem Arts, with Mi Casa and Koiner Farm
A fall harvest festival will staged, and murals, lighting, planters and seating will be installed outside the Genesis apartment community.
- Washington, D.C: Manna
Funds will help efforts to reduce the number of cost-burdened older adult households and advance homeownership access for low- and middle-income BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) residents.
- Washington, D.C: Vida Senior Centers
Six traditional Hispanic social gatherings, called tertulias, will be held in the Adams Morgan and Brightwood neighborhoods.
- Dunedin: Dunedin Public Library
Universal-access picnic tables will be added to the playground at the library, and a “story walk” will be created with signage explaining the city’s history and other distinctions.
- Fort Lauderdale: Grace Arts
A giant fabric shade with a design of geometric shapes will hang above an outdoor shopping plaza in the Victoria Park neighborhood to provide shade and better location for cultural events and activities.
- Hillsborough County: Carrollwood Cultural Center
To aid blind or visually impaired arts aficionados, audio describers will be hired and an assistive-listening system will be installed for center’s theatrical, dance and art offerings. The Blind Visionaries multimedia group will perform, and a tactile and audible art exhibit will be staged.
- Leon County: 2-1-1 Big Bend
Rides will be provided throughout the county to residents age 50 or older.
- Miami: Friends of The Underline
Miami’s Walk4Life club will expand into the city's downtown. Two digital message boards will highlight members’ accomplishments, offer health tips and promote wellness events.
- Miami-Dade County: Transit Alliance Miami
The My Transit My City project will offer lessons and technical support to older adults and people with disabilities about how to use the county’s redesigned bus system.
- Pensacola: Council on Aging of West Florida
Two "tiny houses" will be built. One will house a low-income senior citizen, the other will be used as a model home to educate the community about the ways tiny houses can help alleviate the city's severe housing shortage.
- Santa Rosa Beach: Walton County Board of County Commissioners
A gaming area will be created at the Coastal Branch Library on an existing courtyard or green space. It will include a ping-pong table, cornhole game and checkers/chess table.
- Tampa: City of Tampa
A pathway will be built to connect Linebaugh Avenue and apartments for older adults to the walking loop in Takomah Trail Park.
- Wilton Manors: Three Bridges Neighborhood Association
To improve the aesthetic appeal of Coral Gardens Park, new lighting, plants and a Little Free Library will be installed. Grant funds will also be used for a renaming contest and block party.
- Atlanta: Atlanta BeltLine Partnership
Resource coordinators will be hired to inform longtime residents about the organization’s Legacy Resident Retention Program, which provides financial assistance to cover property-tax increases.
- Augusta: Augusta Urban Ministries
Free bikes, safety training, related equipment, and continuing inspections and repairs will be provided to 25 older adults. A community bike ride along the Augusta Canal Trail, plus safety training, will take place.
- Brookhaven: We Love Buford Highway
A newsletter featuring immigrant stories from the Buford Highway corridor will be created and distributed through a news rack stationed along the commercial roadway. An event featuring recitations of the stories in five languages will be staged.
- Brunswick: City of Brunswick
Landscaping and ADA-compliant benches will be added around the perimeter of the labyrinth, or contemplative walking path, planned for Goodyear Park.
- Columbus: METRA Transit System
Four two-person, porch-type swings will be installed at the city bus station on newly created beds of wood chips for safety.
- LaGrange: West Georgia STAR
A shuttle service will be created, operating 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., in this rural community with no formal public transportation system nor access to ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber.
- Macon-Bibb County: Bike Walk Macon
To help strengthen bonds between the dissimilar communities, four crosswalks at the corner of Clayton and Walnut streets will be artistically redesigned by residents of the adjacent Vineville and Pleasant Hill neighborhoods.
- McDonough: Heritage Senior Activity Center
Ten adult tricycles will be purchased (along with helmets, locks and pumps) and made available for borrowing.
- Hauula: Hui o Hauula
Walking trails, ADA-compliant benches and a mural will be installed on a five-acre site slated to become a community recreation area.
- Kaunakakai: Krause Family Foundation: 'Alana Ke Aloha, Soto Mission Molokai
A free, outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot will be set up and assistance provided to those trying to connect to the internet. Digital literacy instructions will also be offered and ADA-compliant outdoor furniture installed.
- Līhuʻe: Rice Street Business Association
Thirteen murals will be painted around Līhuʻe; six Wi-Fi hotspots will be installed at bus stops; and native trees will be planted and garden beds installed along Rice Street.
- Boise: Wassmuth Center for Human Rights
A loudspeaker system for concerts and events will be installed at the outdoors Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
- Boise: Downtown Boise Association
Seven "pop-up placemaking" events will enliven the downtown with outdoor games and activities.
- Emmett: Emmett Public Library
A digital locker system will be installed outside the library so patrons can pick up and drop off materials when the building is closed.
- Chicago and surrounds: The SafeLIGHT Foundation
A new program will provide taxi and ride-sharing services to older adults in need of transportation assistance.
- Mounds: City of Mounds
Improvements at City Park will make the restrooms ADA-compliant, add a ramp to the gazebo, and install benches and umbrella-shaded picnic tables.
- Rockford: City of Rockford
Repairs will be done to ramps, stairs, railings and porches — and connections to needed resources made — at homes in six areas with high ratios of residents age 65-plus. Other work, such as pot-hole repair, street-sign replacement and street sweeping will be done where needed.
- Woodstock: City of Woodstock
A wide pathway of crushed limestone will be built through the deep woods in Emricson Park. Seating areas will be created along the pathway.
- Evansville: Dream Center Evansville
The intersection of North Main and West Michigan streets will be painted to improve visibility, and sidewalks and curbs on nearby streets — an area with a high percentage of older adults — will be repaired.
- Floyd County: Blue River Services, Inc.
Grant funds will help expand on-demand transportation services for older adults and people with disabilities.
- Fort Wayne: Health By Design
Three crossing areas at the southern end of the Wells Street corridor will be enhanced to improve safety. New lighting, seating and planters, events and more will draw attention to the area.
- Lebanon: The Heart of Lebanon
To help older adults attend the dozens of events The Heart of Lebanon stages downtown each year, seating and personal umbrellas (including ones that can be used as a cane) will be provided on-site.
- Seymour: Anchor House, Inc.
An extended awning will be built outside the Anchor House food pantry/emergency shelter and a mural painted on the side of its building. The outdoor space for vendors offering supportive services will be increased.
- Greeley: City of Greeley
Decorative light poles will be installed along State Highway 38 as part of the city’s effort to create a downtown corridor.
- Perry: Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA)
ADA-compliant benches will be installed at city bus stops, and improved signage (including bilingual signs at designated stops) will be instituted throughout the system. Free rides will be given to passengers who are participating in a local health study.
- Polk County: Aging Resources
Older adults without a smartphone will be able to order an Uber or Lyft ride by phoning a call center. Older passengers will be provided up to eight free rides per month.
- Toledo: Tama/Toledo Healthy Hometown Committee
Two crosswalks, one helping connect Toledo and Tama, will be installed. Flashing yield signs and new connecting sidewalks will link the crosswalks to other walkways.
- Barber County: Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Association
A paved path will be built at the Five Tribes Outdoor Museum Trail, connecting the parking area to trail features.
- Blue Rapids: Blue Rapids Community Action Team
A basketball court at City Park will be turned into two pickleball courts, and an event introducing attendees to the sport will be staged.
- Dodge City: Dodge City Public Art Advisory Committee
Murals will be created in the downtown district reflecting the area’s history and diversity.
- Iola: Thrive
A musical playground featuring outdoor, mounted instruments will be built in a flower garden on the grounds of Allen County Regional Hospital.
- Newton: Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams
ADA-compliant benches and educational signage will be installed at a future wetlands park located one mile from a large retirement community. Safety warnings and pavement markings will also be created.
- Topeka: The Gil Carter Initiative, Inc.
Grant funds will be used to build a greenhouse, install ADA-compliant benches and host health and wellness events featuring medical professionals and nutritionists.
- Beaver Dam: City of Beaver Dam
As part of a downtown renaissance, old wooden doors will be turned into artworks illustrating the city’s history and will then be mounted on the outer walls of existing buildings.
- Florence: Florence Christian Church
A bicycle rack and bicycle repair station will be installed in the church parking lot for use by food pantry guests, users of the church’s free shower service and all city residents.
- Hazard: University of Kentucky Research Foundation
Workbenches, a 3-D printer, pipe benders and a drill press will be among the equipment purchased to bolster a program in which volunteers refurbish used medical equipment and adapt toys to aid people with disabilities.
- Highland Heights: Campbell County Senior Center
Two raised-bed planters will be built and developed, and workshops will be held to teach older adults about gardening.
- Lexington: Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky
To strengthen relations between grandparents and grandchildren, events at which attendees can plant trees and flower bulbs or build free mini libraries (or both) will be staged across the state.
- Louisville: Parks Alliance of Louisville
A new public park in a neighborhood with high rates of poor health will receive three fitness stations.
- Baton Rouge: The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC)
Wayfinding signage will be added to a bike and walking trail on Scotlandville Parkway, along with art that represents the area’s history and the contributions of African Americans and local veterans.
- Bunkie: The Center for Planning Excellence
Plans will be drawn to convert two vacant, city-owned lots into pocket parks and at least one will be developed through the use of AARP Community Challenge funds.
- New Orleans: Algiers Economic Development Foundation
Six bike racks, decorative lighting and a bicycle repair station will be added along a three-block section of Kabel Drive, a commercial corridor in the Algiers neighborhood.
- New Orleans: Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Funds will be used for installing a wheelchair lift.
- New Orleans: Dillard University Community Relations
A community garden with 20 raised-bed garden boxes will be created, and six healthy-cooking demonstrations and four health fairs will be held.
- Thibodaux: City of Thibodaux
Benches and bicycle racks will be installed downtown and along the Menard Pedestrian Bike Trail.
- Bath: Age-Friendly Communities of the Lower Kennebec
A multimedia package informing recipients about accessory dwelling units will be produced.
- Bangor: Bangor Livable Communities Committee
The safety and functionality of the Kenduskeag Stream Trail will be improved by widening the trail, installing ADA-compliant benches and improving signage. A structural assessment of one bridge will be conducted.
- Bath: Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
The Whiskeag Trail will be widened and stabilized; bridges will be widened, with ramps added; ADA-compliant benches will be installed; and an emergency system will be updated.
- Central Maine: Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater
Theatrical performances about challenges experienced by older adults will be staged at venues across central Maine. (Read an AARP.org/Livable article about interactive theater and this grantee.)
- Danforth: Danforth Livable Communities
The city’s Livable Communities Center will be brought up to ADA standards with a new front walkway and entryway and a renovation of its stairwell.
- Portland: Age Friendly Portland
Purchasing portable ramps will improve accessibility to town gathering spaces, services and amenities for residents and visitors with mobility challenges.
- Rangeley: United Way of the Tri-Valley Area
A program providing free rides to people are 50 or older in this rural community will be maintained and expanded, partly with the addition of seven volunteer drivers.
- Scarborough: Project GRACE
Three community gardens, two of which are used exclusively to feed undernourished residents, will gain funding, as will a program that provides supplemental heating assistance and home repairs to older adults.
- Searsmont: Georges River Land Trust
A portion of an existing riverfront trail will receive new seating, trailhead kiosks with information about the area and new accessible parking spots.
- South Portland: Age Friendly South Portland
A walk audit will be conducted to identify ways to improve safety on the Green Belt Trail. Signage will also be installed, and a program on the correct use of the trail will be produced for Access TV.
- Surry: Town of Surry
Signage will be added along Route 172 to slow speeding traffic by drivers who are often unaware of the small town’s presence as they shuttle between Ellsworth and Blue Hill.
- Baltimore: Adopt-A-Block, Inc
An abandoned home will be renovated and given away, mortgage free, to someone 50 or older who has never owned a home.
- Baltimore: Art with a Heart Inc.
A mosaic of glass and ceramic will be created by city residents at a series of workshops, then displayed outside the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.
- Baltimore: North Ave Mission
A community garden in a low-income neighborhood will be upgraded and made more accessible with the creation of a rain garden and installation of a permeable paver path, a picnic table, lighting and a canopy.
- Baltimore: Saint Agnes Foundation
New volunteers and older-adult participants will be recruited for a program begun in 2020 in which the former accompany the latter to medical appointments.
- Baltimore: The Urban Oasis
A two-story structure will be built to house equipment at a community garden and provide gathering space for a program in which teens remove trash, mow lawns, plant trees and tend other gardens.
- Boston: The Trustees of Reservations
A hazardous walkway will be repaired at Southwest Corridor Community Farm, and four raised-bed gardens will be built for disabled gardeners at Savin & Maywood Community Garden.
- Chelmsford: Chelmsford Public Library
Indigenous people’s contributions to the area’s development will be acknowledged with 11 informational kiosks and five freestanding mini libraries, plus programs focusing on the arts and history.
- South Dennis: Dennis Center for Active Living
In a corner on the Center for Active Living grounds, six raised-bed gardens and two ADA-compliant benches will be places on a new concrete surface.
- Westport: Westport Council on Aging
A fixed-route transportation service for older adults will be established, operating one day per week between common shopping, banking and medical destinations in this rural community.
- Worcester: MassBike
Bicycling will be encouraged by pairing 20 teenaged cyclists with 20 older recipients in an ongoing program that awards free e-bikes. There will also be five bicycle workshops as well as group rides.
- Detroit: Arboretum Detroit
An ADA-compliant boardwalk plus a deck with benches will be installed near Mission Point, a nursing and rehabilitation facility.
- Detroit: Road to Freedom
An abandoned apartment complex with be rehabilitated by recent parolees and adults over 50, teaching them construction and social skills.
- Genesee County: Greater Flint Health Coalition
The project will recruit volunteers and install raised-beds at community gardens at food banks and centers for older adults.
- Lansing: City of Lansing
The roundabout at Harding and Pershing avenues will gain traffic delineators, and the sidewalk at its perimeter will be painted. Two bike racks will be installed nearby.
- Mason County: Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Assocation
Picnic tables will be installed on the grounds of Big Sable Lighthouse to provide a place for visitors to rest.
- Duluth: Duluth Age-Friendly and Ecolibrium3
Teams of participants will design solutions that will make the city more age friendly. Areas of focus will include housing, transportation and more.
- McLeod County: Mid-Minnesota Development Commission
Transit tokens will be distributed to older adults and disabled people in residential facilities, and childcare providers will receive passes allowing them to take children in their care to such facilities, promoting intergenerational contact.
- Minneapolis: City of Minneapolis
The network of “mobility hubs” — spots around town that aid travelers — will be bolstered with improved signage and seating, and local ambassadors will be hired to educate residents about their use.
- Minneapolis: Mill City Church and IMBY MN Project
A showcase accessory dwelling unit will be built and a multimedia campaign explaining the benefits of this compact housing type will be produced.
- Princeton: City of Princeton
The Bike Assist Program will offer an electric hybrid cargo bike to families for a wider variety of transportation opportunities.
- Twin Cities region: Hearts & Hammers
Homes of low-income owners will be rehabbed, including weatherstripping; the construction of accessibility ramps, stairs and walkways; and landscaping or yard renewal.
- Vergas: Veterans Memorial Park
Three-quarters of an acre of city-owned land will be turned into a veterans memorial with full ADA compliance.
- Hattiesburg: Hattiesburg Landmark Preservation
At a public school/park, AARP funds will contribute to improvements in the basketball court, the addition of four age-friendly benches at a walking track and two murals.
- Jackson: Jackson Heart Foundation — Museum Trail
The Museum Trail will be upgraded with the addition of two gathering places, a mural, seating and lighting.
- Macon: Noxubee County Historical Society
The Macon Welcome Center will become a fully functional community center with the addition of computers, food prep equipment, audio video equipment and the hiring of several staff members.
- Waynesboro: Waynesboro — Wayne County Library
The library will purchase 11 GrandPads, a tablet designed for older adults; they will then be available for checking out, just like books. Computer classes will also be offered, and a special staff member will provide tech support.
- St. Louis: East Loop CID
Funding will help build and creatively paint two crosswalks on a prominent boulevard where there are long stretches with no designated pedestrian crossings.
- St. Louis County: Citizens for Modern Transit
Accessible seating, a UV-protective shade and a mural examining local history will be installed at the North Hanley Transit Center.
- St. Louis: Good Journey
Two areas designed for peaceful reflection will be built within a community garden — one with a wooden arbor and vining fruit, the other with a fountain and Zimbabwean sculpture. Both will include seating.
- Webb City: Joplin Trails Coalition
A cement ramp leading to the Frisco Trail will be built along with infrastructure to help people of all abilities enjoy the trail and cross the adjacent road.
- Cut Bank: City of Cut Bank
An underused dog park will receive a walking path, ADA-compliant benches and two shade structures.
- Flathead Indian Reservation: Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation (CSKT)
A greenhouse and adjacent garden will be created and supplied with soil, cultivation materials and other necessities. The resulting produce will be given to meal programs and individual families.
- Ravalli County: Cultivating Connections Montana
Older adults will serve as hosts of community gardens in their own yards or elsewhere. Teen volunteers will maintain the gardens, with hosts doing the watering and receiving a share of the produce. The rest will be donated.
- Virginia City: Friends of the Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library
Public meetings will be held and a survey conducted to determine needs to improve accessibility at the library.
- Grand Island: Grow Grand Island
A packet will be produced, containing the book The Art of Neighboring and information about a neighborhood meet-and-greet, and then distributed to participants in a new local segment of an international leadership forum conducted via satellite.
- Haigler: Haigler Community Foundation
An abandoned set of basketball and tennis courts will be revitalized, with one of the latter turned into a pickleball court. ADA-compliant benches will also be added and light poles repaired.
- Lincoln: Heartland Bike Share and BikeLNK
Monthly events to promote bike sharing will be staged and will include group rides that include certified biking ambassadors. Courses will be offered to train others to be ambassadors.
- Omaha: Canopy South
As part of the revitalization of a vacant building in Upland Park, land around it will gain a walking path, accessible seating, public art and permanent raised-bed gardens to replace current temporary ones.
- Omaha: University of Nebraska Foundation
Tests will be conducted on new and recent innovations meant to improve bathrooms for wheelchair-bound people living in restricted quarters such as accessory dwelling units. Among the items: automated faucets and voice-activated showers.
- South Sioux City: Siouxland Freedom Park
Siouxland Freedom Park, a veterans memorial park honoring all past and present members of the armed forces, will construct trails to increase accessibility between park amenities.
- Elko County: Community Health Development Foundation
Two centers for older adults will receive laptops and tablets, and high school–age volunteers will provide instruction on their use.
- Henderson: City of Henderson
Thirty artistically designed bicycle racks will be created and installed downtown along with a mural or statue and a bike education class that includes a community ride will be held.
- Center Ossipee: Friends of Constitution Park Ossipee
A covered pavilion with benches will be built to provide shade and a gathering place.
- Hillsborough: Hillsborough Community Center
A covered bench will be installed downtown, with raised-bed gardens alongside it.
- Lebanon: Friends of the Northern Rail Trail
An electric rickshaw will be purchased and used to provide rides to older adults, operated by volunteer cyclists.
- Newport: Town of Newport
A vacant lot will be turned into a dog park and community garden, both fully ADA-accessible, with walkways, benches and raised-bed gardens.
- Belleville: Town of Belleville
A new walking trail will connect two streets previously divided by an oddly placed fence. Along the path will be one garden honoring COVID-19 victims and another containing produce the public will be welcome to pick.
- Belvidere: Town of Belvidere
A colorful bike lane will be created along a busy downtown street to slow traffic and improve livability. Along with it will come two bike racks, two repair stations and five benches.
- Camden: Camden Community Partnership
Various safety solutions will be tested around the entrance to Cramer Waterfront Park. Among them are switching the bike and parking lanes to move bicyclists away from traffic. Crosswalks and temporary curb ramps will also be added.
- Closter: Borough of Closter
A barren alley downtown will be turned into a pocket park that will connect commuter and shopper parking to a lively commercial street.
- Elizabeth: Kean University Foundation
Six murals will be created based on a series of COVID-19 stories recorded during the pandemic and told by housing authority residents.
- Jersey City: Jersey City Housing Authority
This project will provide Wi-Fi-enabled tablets to seniors in a public housing development and college students will offer one-on-one digital literacy training.
- Metuchen: Metuchen Downtown Alliance
In a downtown parking lot downtown located near the city’s center for older adults, two parking spaces will transformed into a "parklet" gathering spot with planters, seating and a table decorated with a mosaic.
- Perth Amboy: City of Perth Amboy
Two pillars of the bridge connecting Perth Amboy to New York’s Staten Island will be beautified with murals.
- Carlsbad: Carlsbad MainStreet Project
Downtown crosswalks will be repainted with thermoplastic materials that can withstand the New Mexico sun and improve safety.
- El Rito: El Rito Library
The area around the library will be upgraded by clearly separating parking from other areas with stanchions; adding a sandbox, benches and a bicycle repair station, and holding flea markets.
- La Union: La Union Helping Hands
A covered bus stop will be built at a central location in the town, and a gazebo with benches will be installed outside the community center.
- Silver City: Silver City MainStreet Project
Large photos depicting historic flooding in the area will be posted downtown and a game area will be established nearby.
- Buffalo: Dorothy J Collier Community Center
Jazz Night the Community Center will enhance cultural activities, create a sense of belonging, encourage multigenerational interaction, beautify the neighborhood and provide an outlet for disenfranchised community members.
- Chautauqua: Chautauqua Institution
Two tennis courts will be added at Chautauqua Institution, one of which can be converted to two pickleball courts as needed.
- Long Island: Regional Plan Association
The benefits of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will be addressed in a series of video interviews with older adults who live in ADUs or might benefit from doing so. The interviews will be disseminated through social and traditional media.
- New York City: NYC Department for the Aging
To foster intergenerational interaction, a series of workshops providing instruction in the arts, including salsa and African dance, mosaic creation and storytelling, will be expanded to four additional sites.
- North Elba: John Brown Lives!
An ongoing series of stories about social justice and activism will be bolstered by a new website and the Story Booth at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, where stories can be recorded and shared.
- Schenectady: Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation
An empty lot downtown will be enlivened with murals, ADA-compliant benches, lighting and tables featuring game boards.
- Ansonville: The Caraway Foundation
People 50-plus will receive instructions in technology from volunteers. Each participant will receive a tablet and laptop that can be taken home. The tablets will be theirs to keep after the six-week program.
- Brevard: City of Brevard
Raised-bed gardens will be created in the city’s new community garden. Benches will be added there and in the nearby skate park and along the adjoining Estatoe Trail.
- Craven County: Wash Away Unemployment
The project will build one unit as a model for socially conscious and environmentally-friendly homelessness reduction for returning citizens and those with high barriers to employment.
- Greenville: BikeWalkNC
The Greenville Traffic Garden, a simulated roadway where drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can learn safety practices, will be developed.
- Bismarck, Lincoln and Mandan: Bis-Man Transit Board
Videos to teach local residents about the transit system, including fixed-route service, will be produced and used during transit workshops.
- Devils Lake: Devils Lake Park District
An existing pond in Ruger Park will be expanded and stocked with fish. A pier, parking, a sidewalk, benches and landscaping will be added.
- Hazen: Hazen Public Library
Two chairlifts will be installed at the library, making the basement, where there is a meeting room, more accessible.
- New Rockford: New Rockford Park District
With the move of the city’s outdoor skating rink to All Veterans Park, a new prefab, more accessible building for dressing, getting warm, etc., will be bought and installed. Lighting for security and benches will also be added.
- Cleveland: Union Miles Development Corporation
Free home-repair services will be provided to older adults in the Union-Miles neighborhood.
- Columbus: Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers
An outdoor meeting space will be created where refugee families can congregate.
- Delaware: City of Delaware Parks and Natural Resources
Unity Park will be upgraded with fitness equipment, ADA-compliant benches, lighting and landscaping.
- Franklin County: Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio
Bhutanese refugee women will be taught how to access libraries, parks and public transportation.
- Toledo: CommunityCare Clinics (CCC)
A bus stop near the clinic will be upgraded with a bench and shelter. Ride-sharing arrangements will also be improved with a new partnership, and bike racks will be installed at the clinic.
- Youngstown: Boulevard Park Block Watch
A vacant space will be converted to a pocket park, with benches, porch-type swings, a flagpole and picnic tables.
- Cheyenne: The Rook
This project will turn a temporary wood wheelchair ramps into a permanent wheelchair access for the lower level by installing a mechanical lift.
- McAlester: City of McAlester
A tennis court at William P. Mullen Park will be converted to two pickleball courts with the help of local players.
- Nowata: Nowata CAN, Inc.
An alleyway previously adorned with several murals will receive further enhancement with ADA-compliant benches, tables, lighting, planters and a small stage.
- Wellston: Town of Wellston
AARP funding will contribute to the upgrading of the park area, which will gain a walking trail, tables and benches, games, and improved paviliion restrooms.
- Klamath Falls: Healthy Klamath
This project will revive alleyways that are currently run down and increase public art displays.
- Moro: City of Moro
As Moro updates its zoning ordinances, allowing a broader range of home types, two sets of pre-approved plans for accessory dwelling units will be provided at no cost to citizens of Moro and its neighbor Condon.
- Mosier: City of Mosier
AARP funding will help develop a commercial kitchen in the community center. The kitchen will provide free weekly meals, a food pantry and space for nutritional-product development.
- Portland: Lloyd EcoDistrict
Workshops will be held to train older adults to prepare for emergencies. Participants will also be supplied with appropriate materials.
- Salem: Sustainable Living Center
An unused outdoor area between two historical glass greenhouses will be turned into an accessible space for educational programs on sustainability, multigenerational gardening and social engagement.
- Woodburn: City of Woodburn
This project will provide a public community gathering space directly in the heart of one of the largest 55-plus communities in Oregon.
- Philadelphia: Center in the Park
A cafe with free Wi-Fi will be created in a center for older adults.
- Philadelphia: Clean Air Council
Two informational kiosks promoting Cobb Creek Trail will be installed along or near the trail, and two entertainment programs featuring content geared toward older adults will be staged at an environmental center.
- Philadelphia: Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
To help reconnect Chinatown neighborhoods divided by the creation of the Vine Street Expressway, the organization will hold a pop up event to reimagine the public space and older older residents’ input will be sought.
- Philadelphia: Thomas Jefferson University
Four themed gardens — Edible, Sanctuary, etc. — will be created at the LandHealth Institute’s nursery. (Article)
- Philadelphia: Utility Emergency Services Fund
Transportation via rideshare and public transit will be provided to older adults going to Oak Street Health locations.
- Pittsburgh: Lawrenceville United
Older town residents will be interviewed about Lawrenceville’s history and their own experiences there. Those stories will be made available on a history website and honored with public art displays.
- West Chester: West Chester Public Library
ADA-compliant seating and tables, plus a security camera, will be added to an underused terrace outside the library.
- Lajas: Surcando La Historia
The continued availability of power, drinking water and communication outlets in Lajas will be ensured through improved technology.
- San Juan: Ponce NHS
Emergency supplies — including a water tank, cots and first aid kits — will be purchased to benefit the Tortugo community/barrio.
- Central Falls: Groundwork Rhode Island
A green space will be transformed into a resource for all ages through the installation of amenities such as seating and tables for dominoes and chess. Video
- Providence: Providence Streets Coalition & Thriving Places Collaborative
A parking lane will be turned into a temporary urban trail to assess safety, build community support and affect the permanent redesign of Hope Street. Video
- Providence: Southside Community Land Trust
Young people will grow herbs and vegetables that will be given to older adults. They will also help create a second cookbook that preserves the older adults’ recipes and stories. Video
- Woonsocket: Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative
The area outside the Aging Well older-adult center will be transformed into a safe, inviting space for outdoor exercise as well as a gathering place. Video
- Columbia: Transitions Homeless Center
Various equipment and services at the center’s new physical location will be purchased with funding, including a laptop for processing applications; beds, desks and dressers; and open houses for eligible people and their families.
- Fort Lawn: Fort Lawn Community Center
ADA-compliant picnic tables and a gazebo with porch-type swings will be purchased for the town’s mini park and benches for its walking track. Concrete walking paths will be created at both.
- Greenville: Mill Community Ministries
At a local bike shop, six workbenches will be set up, complete with tools, to allow riders to do their own repairs. Videos will be created or found on YouTube to aid the amateur mechanics.
- Union County: The RobinHood Group
Stipends will be provided to residents over 50 who work in a community gardens, and FoodShare boxes will be given to residents in need of services.
- Canistota: City of Canistota
Accessible picnic tables, benches and a water fountain will be installed to turn an undeveloped park into a safe gathering space.
- Hill City: Community Lutheran Church Community Garden
Cisterns to collect rainwater will be installed at the church’s community garden, increasing the number of plots and, hence, the number food distribution sites it serves. Workshops on gardening and the use of fresh produce will also be held.
- Milbank: Milbank Area Retired Teachers Association
Bike racks, benches, signage, water fountains and playground equipment will be installed at the city’s parks.
- Spearfish: City of Spearfish Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department
Signage and crosswalks will be improved. Curb-access disparities in areas frequented by older adults will be mitigated.
- Clarksville: Montgomery County
A community garden will be created at the Wade Bourne Nature Center.
- Crossville: Cumberland County
An Obed River Park shelter will be transformed into an outdoor classroom. Among other uses, Cumberland County Soil Conservation District will hold classes there on plant and pollinator identification and monarch butterfly gardening.
- Jackson: City of Jackson
Two “blessing boxes” — stand-alone refrigerators in wooden frames — will be positioned outside a local church and a substance-abuse facility. They will initially be stocked by the city, later by donations.
- Memphis: For the Kingdom
The Exodus Marketplace will be created and subsequently host a monthly farmers market, a book club and more.
- Nashville: Neighbor 2 Neighbor
Leadership skills will be cultivated among people 50 or older at a series of “lunch and learn” events, helping them become more actively engaged in their neighborhoods.
- Dallas: City of Dallas — Office of Community Care
ADA-compliant benches and playground signage will be installed at the West Dallas Multipurpose Center.
- Fort Worth: Lancaster District Historic, Inc.
Tripping hazards will be eliminated in the Al Hayne Memorial Park.
- Middle Rio Grande Region: Southwest Area Regional Transit District
Training in how to become mobile and independent will be offered to older adults and disabled people.
- Presidio: Presidio Municipal Development Distric
Barbecue grills, ADA-compliant picnic tables and park benches, exercise equipment, and outdoor musical instruments will be installed at Daly Park.
- San Antonio: Alamo Colleges Foundation
Exercise equipment will be installed along a walking trail at Palomino Park. There will also be free on-site and online fitness activities.
- Cedar City: Cedar City Corporation
Bus shelters, benches and bike racks will be installed downtown and picnic tables will be installed at the farmers market.
- Grand County: Youth Garden Project
Funds will allow the Youth Garden Project to purchase 25 kneepads to aid it 250 volunteers.
- Salt Lake City: Glendale Neighborhood Council
A transportation committee will be established within the Glendale Neighborhood Council to plot a course on issues related to transportation in Glendale and more.
- Greensboro: Greensboro Nursing Home
A nature trail will be built, and a deck will be added to the town’s pond.
- Hinesburg: Cathedral Square
A flashing beacon light will be installed at a village center crosswalk near Kelley’s Field, an affordable housing community for older adults.
- Montpelier: City of Montpelier — Parks and Trees Department
A pop-up produce stand will be created to distribute affordable food from the city’s farm. It will also transform the front of the older-adult center into a weekly outdoor gathering space.
- North Hero: North Hero Public Library
A “word garden” with words etched into rocks will be installed and will complement raised-bed gardens already in place.
- Royalton: South Royalton Underpass Art Project
Public art and new lighting will help revitalize a train underpass that forms a vital connection point in the bisected village.
- Frederiksted: The St. Croix Orchid Society, Inc
Damage to the historic Orchid House at the Garden will be repaired. That will include replacing the ridgepole and rafters, shade cloth, and grillwork on the front of the building. There will also be irrigation system updates.
- Blacksburg: Blacksburg Regional Art Association
A mural highlighting the area’s natural environment and history will beautify a busy pedestrian streetscape.
- Chesapeake: Healthy Chesapeake
Various equipment and features, including raised-bed boxes, planter benches, a modular trellis system, an outdoor sink and a rain barrel, will complete a community garden in a low-income neighborhood.
- Gloucester: Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic
A food pantry and vegetable garden will be created at the clinic, affording patients better access to healthy foods.
- New River Valley Region: Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley
The Mobile Literacy Lab will provide technical resources and literacy education to adult learners.
- Richmond: Union Presbyterian Seminary
Picnic tables, benches and signage, plus improvements in the trail system, will be added to an urban eco-park.
- Bainbridge Island: Bainbridge Island Senior/Community Center
This will test the value of a collaborative transportation web, blending volunteer and contracted drivers, to create an effective system for older adults and the community at large.
- Cosmopolis: Friends of Highland Park and Parks of Cosmopolis
An underutilized park will be upgraded with ADA-compliant benches, a covered area, ramps, picnic tables and more.
- Cusick: Kalispel Tribe of Indians
Artwork by community members will grace 10 utility-box covers and honor the Kalispel Tribe’s history and culture.
- Quilcene: Count Me In for Quilcene
A trail linking the town’s natural wonders, activity centers and businesses will be built, featuring kiosks honoring local artworks and Quilcene’s history in photos and stories.
- Durbin: Town of Durbin
Dim orange streetlights will be replaced by attractive, bright-white ones and sidewalks will be repaired and new ones installed alongside a busy highway.
- Grafton: City of Grafton
An unofficial walking trail will be enhanced with additional benches and directional signage to make it safer and more accessible.
- Wellsburg: Wellsburg Lions Club
Pickleball is king in Wellsburg, where two new courts will be resurfaced, all courts will be enclosed in a new fence, paddle racks will be installed and a bulletin board to post tournament results will be hung.
- Wellsburg: Wellsburg Urban Renewal Authority
Town Square will be revitalized by leveling brick pavers, plus the addition of tables, chair, umbrellas and trash cans and the addition of murals on the walls and colorful paint on area crosswalks.
- Bayfield: Friends of the North Pikes Creek Wetlands
A bike parking facility will be built at Beaver Hollow, a popular community nature preserve.
- La Crosse: La Crosse Public Library
Library patrons will now have the opportunity to check out home improvement and gardening tools.
- Milwaukee: Milwaukee Turners
Walking tours will be conducted for older adults in three neighborhoods, culminating in cooking demonstrations using ingredients found in those neighborhoods, with the goal of encouraging healthy movement and eating.
- Milwaukee: Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation
Vacant lots will be turned into “healing spaces” by mowing grass, removing debris and holding yoga sessions, health workshops and more in them.
- Viroqua: McIntosh Memorial Library
A portion of the library will be turned into an aviary and classes on bird-watching will be conducted there and at other sites, including Side Hollow Park.
- Casper: Casper Legion
A memorial is being created that will include the names of every Wyoming citizen who died defending freedom since the area became a state.
- Cheyenne: Children’s Museum of Cheyenne
Five ADA-compliant benches will be installed for pedestrians and bicyclists on the Greater Cheyenne Greenway.
- Cheyenne: Veterans’ Rock
Diverse forms of transportation will be supplied to all veterans and their families.
- Sheridan: Powder River Basin Resource Council
Safe, accessible seating and lighting will be provided. in an established food forest.
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
- Articles: Visit the AARP Community Challenge Impact Stories
- Questions: Contact us by emailing CommunityChallenge@AARP.org
- Learn When to Apply: Subscribe to the AARP Livable Communities Newsletter
Page published June 29, 2022
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