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Nearby AARP Community Challenge Grantees

Beverly, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The Blooming in Beverly project installed raised garden beds in older adults' front yards. Beverly Main Streets matched 50 older adults with families with young children, who built and delivered the beds, then planted flowers and vegetables in them. Project organizers hoped to foster intergenerational relationships, helping combat social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative allowed young children to make a new friend as they helped with weekly watering. Older adult participants reported they were grateful to be around children, since many had not seen their own grandchildren since the pandemic began. The intergenerational pairings also allowed older adults to reap the benefits of gardening while avoiding hard, physical exertion.

Lynn, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The PATIO Parklet program involved installing three modular, portable parklets in downtown Lynn. Parklets transform curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. The ones in Lynn include tables and seating, greenery and public art. Since installing the parklets, Lynn has seen improved street safety, increased foot traffic, more social interactions among residents and new, culturally relevant programming downtown. The parklets have hosted musical performances, sidewalk sales and the Living Room Series -- facilitated bilingual conversations on important local topics. One installation of the Living Room Series gave residents the chance to meet with school committee and city council candidates. Project organizers say the parklet initiative also helped Beyond Walls to deepen its relationship with partner organizations, including Greater Lynn Senior Services and the Lynn Council on Aging.

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