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Salt Lake City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: The Transit Together initiative invited residents at two low-income, older adult communities to use public transit to get to the grocery store. Over the course of three weeks, project organizers assisted groups of older adults -- including those with mobility issues -- as they navigated the Trax light rail system's routes and fare collection system. To help them run errands via transit, the County Aging and Adult Services office offered each participant a grocery caddy and a monthly senior transit pass. At the end of the program, 22 out of 32 participants reported they would use public transit in the future. In addition, several volunteer-resident pairs planned to continue making grocery trips together. Project organizers report that other service providers throughout Utah have since reached out to find out how they can implement similar educational programs in their communities.

Albuquerque, NM

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: To help Albuquerque residents stay physically active and access nutritious food, the Mid-Region Council of Governments repurposed an underused parking lot into a pop-up community wellness and walking hup. Volunteers repurposed wooden pallets to construct benches, tables and planters. They also planted fruit trees and added bird feeders to the site. To give residents a space to meditate, organizers also created a wellness labyrinth onsite. Using paint, they delineated a walking path across the parking lot and created an artistic crosswalk nearby. Additionally, the Council created and displayed interactive walking maps -- available in both English and Spanish -- along with pavement decals displaying QR codes. The QR codes allow smartphone users to access information online about walking and nutrition programs. Organizers say the project is a first step in larger efforts to address health disparities experienced by the community's Latino, Hispanic and Native populations.

Seattle, WA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging people in transportation options/safety

Description: Many parts of North Seattle lack sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure. To address this, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways launched its Home Zone initiative in the Licton Springs neighborhood. To collect community feedback on walkability, the organization connected with local leaders and conducted door-to-door surveys and walk audits. They also invited homeowners, renters, business owners, older adults and residents with disabilities to participate in a community design workshop. The engagement efforts resulted in a plan for wayfinding signs, traffic calming planter boxes and street murals. Since launching the effort, the City has allocated funding to conduct similar pilots in two other Seattle neighborhoods.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The Navy League Council created its Sea Services Memorial. The memorial is located at the USSAnchorageanchor site to honor the two ships of that name, as well as the Navy's role in Dutch Harbor during World War II. The Council refurbished an anchor onsite, improved landscaping and made accessibility updates. Organizers also installed storyboards describing each ship's historical significance.

Anchorage, AK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Folker Park is a 2-acre urban forest located within the city of Anchorage. The park is adjacent to intergenerational living facilities and in the past was used by people of all ages. However, many of the park's volunteer caretakers have stopped routine maintenance, leaving many areas overgrown and essentially unusable. To improve the park, the Anchorage Park Foundation installed six outdoor musical instruments, a reflexology footpath, a healing maze and age-accessible fitness equipment. They also gathered volunteers to weed garden beds, pick up trash and plant flowers. Today, the park a central hub for the community once again, and a source of pride for residents.

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