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Kuna, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: Kuna has a large parking lot in the center of its downtown that goes largely underused for most of the year. To spark the community's imagination, the City and Idaho Smart Growth hosted the Park for a Day event, which turned the lot into a pop-up plaza. The event featured live music, a food vendor and sketches illustrating ways the space could be permanently transformed. Attendees also contributed their own designs for the parking lot. Suggestions included using the space for a series of short-term, recurring events, such as an Oktoberfest, a Christmas village, a renaissance fair or themed dance nights. The City went on to explore several ideas from the pop-up event, including paving the parking lot with solar panels and installing green stormwater infrastructure to sustain landscaping at the site.

Grove, OK

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The project will add lighting and signals to downtown crosswalks to help make them safer, particularly for older pedestrians.

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.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

New Castle County, DE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, staff at the Latin American Community Center knew they needed to begin outreach efforts to ensure that New Castle's Latino communities received information about staying safe. Most of our community are essential workers, so it has affected us greatly, said Alicia Dominguez, community engagement coordinator for the ConneXiones initiative. We have clients who are positive in COVID and aren't able to work, The Center conducted a community assessment and developed an action plan. They then held pop-up testing sites and vaccination events, which reached many residents. In addition, LACC supported programs to connect residents to food assistance and rent or mortgage relief.

Kennett Square, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: With the goal of supporting small businesses downtown, this project created the first parklet in Kennett Square. Before installing the mini-park, only one side of the borough's main street featured wide sidewalks and could be closed to vehicles on the weekends. Project organizers hoped to expand the space available for outdoor dining and gathering. To do this, the Historic Kennett Square repurposed three on-street parking spaces, installing deck flooring, adding overhead string lights and setting out picnic tables and planters. Four restaurants -- two coffee shops and two restaurants -- used the space. Volunteers designed the parklet be torn down ahead of the winter months and set back up in the spring. Project organizers say the parklet helped demonstrate the value of placemaking projects.

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