Click here to learn about the 2024 AARP Community Challenge — and apply by March 6, 2024.

See More Grantees Like This One

Camden, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Camden's Main Street program transformed the city's Broad Street alley into a vibrant throughway for shoppers and diners. To involve community members in the makeover, the City invited residents to the space to create stained glass-like globes out of tissue paper. By hanging the completed art pieces and adding LED string lights and shade canopies, the City created a decorative, open ceiling to the alley. They later added benches and planters to create an outdoor gathering space. It's wonderful to see the residents who created pieces strolling through the alley and pointing out to friends and family where their piece is located, Camden Main Street Program Manager Katherine Spadacenta said.

Columbia, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The City of Columbia set out to provide outdoor seating along Main Street, an area that attracts pedestrians and hosts events that draw visitors from the surrounding region. Project organizers say that people now have a spot to work on their laptops, enjoy a cup of coffee or take in a meal from nearby food trucks. Although staff originally removed and stored the tables at the end of each day, their popularity spurred the City to leave them out permanently. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the colorful tables and chairs provided residents with a safe space to gather outside. Because the seating is heavily used, the City has explored more ways to provide seating on Main Street.

Rock Hill, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This project will create a pollinator garden at the Northside Recreation Center, which will provide residents with an opportunity to learn about the benefits of pollinator gardens and how to care for them.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The West Ashley Greenway in Charleston is an eight-mile bicycle and pedestrian trail, which is popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. However, the greenway crosses several busy streets, leading to accidents between vehicles and pedestrians. To fix this, a team of volunteers created three artistic crosswalk murals, designed to calm traffic. They also installed signage which reminds drivers to look out for people crossing the roadway. Community members need to be able to get access to places without driving, and to feel safe when they're walking and biking, project director Katie Zimmerman said. Doing this even in small ways will get more people active and out of their cars.

Charleston, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: Hampstead Square is Charleston's oldest public green space. But the square had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect, made worse by flooding. Keep Charleston Beautiful partnered with the City of Charleston to launch a multi-year park revitalization, part of broader work to bring greenspace to the community. They installed an irrigation system and updated landscaping. To give nearby residents free internet access, they also set up a Wi-Fi hotspot. Volunteers -- including community members and local businessowners -- helped complete the work and chip in additional funding. Inspired by the progress, organizers later added a new historic marker and statue of famed Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons, which inform visitors about the park's legacy. Since the improvements, the space has hosted health and fitness activities, youth programs and free outdoor movie screenings.

LEARN MORE AND STAY INFORMED

Find articles and resources about making communities more livable for people of all ages

people icon

Download or order free publications from AARP Livable Communities

download icon

Sign up for the free, weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities eNewsletter

mail icon

Don't see your community listed?

LEARN HOW IT CAN JOIN THE NETWORK

Connect with your AARP State Office

AARP has offices in all 50 states as well as in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AARP South Carolina State Office

1201 Main Street
Suite 1720
Columbia, SC 29201
United States

Phone: 866-389-5655
Fax: 803-251-4379
Email: [email protected]