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Harlan, IA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Harlan library staff wanted to encourage families with children to explore Pioneer Park. To draw people in, they created a Story Walk. The library purchased twenty displays to house pages of a storybook, which they placed along the park's walking path. With their grandparents and parents by their side, kids enjoy running from sign to sign to reach the next part of the story. To keep the experience fresh, library employees swap out new stories seasonally.

Fort Scott, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Fort Scott's Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes mission is to share stories of lesser-known great Americans through project-based learning. The Center created a downtown park next to its museum facilities. The new space features six narrative boards, which commemorate the contributions of individual heroes. Students in grades four through twelve researched and chose the subjects, who include scientists who discovered dinosaur bones and measured the extent of the universe, as well as a Navajo code breaker, a pioneer of modern education and others. Project organizers say the story rails will allow visitors to learn about historical figures outside the nearby museum's operating hours.

Brunswick, GA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Part of larger plans to revitalize Goodyear Park, this project improved landscaping around the park's new labyrinth. To give visitors a place to rest and reflect as they navigate the contemplative walking path, volunteers also installed ADA-accessible benches onsite.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Erath, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Bikeability

Description: COVID-19 pandemic restrictions led to an increase in pedestrian and bicycle activity in Erath, as people sought out safe ways to get around and spend time outdoors. And many residents of the small town do not own cars. For local leaders, the increase in biking and walking represented an opportunity to effect long-term change. Since Erath only had one bike rack, the Town purchased and installed new racks in 16 locations around town to encourage locals to bike to the local park and businesses. Volunteers helped design the racks and coordinate the best places to install them.

Opelousas, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Accessibility of amenities

Description: The City of Opelousas had no accessible seating outdoor seating in its downtown. So City officials set out to create comfortable, wheelchair-accessible gathering places, creating a more welcoming Main Street for older adults with mobility challenges. They installed ADA-compliant rest areas with benches and picnic tables at several downtown locations, including the farmers market, the local courthouse and the public library.

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