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Potlatch, ID

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: In 1906, the Washington, Idaho and Montana Railway built the Potlatch Depot, which served as a warehouse to store excess freight and baggage. The Washington, Idaho and Montana Railway History Preservation Group hoped to offer visitors rides on speeders and rail cycles -- small vehicles that travel along the tracks, which railroad employees once used to inspect tracks and reach trains needing repairs. To do this, the group needed to expand into the depot's annex. They worked to renovate the building, stabilizing its foundation, replacing siding and removing interior walls and floor lumber. Project organizers hope the speeder rides will attract the public to the depot's museum and increase a sense of community pride.

Wilmington, DE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: 1225 D Street was an abandoned lot overrun with weeds, errant trees and debris. Y Innovations planned to create a green space and community garden there, but first the area had to be cleared. Organizers began by removing garbage that had been dumped in the spot, as well as dead tree limbs, many feet of dilapidated fencing and three vacant sheds. The organization then added new fencing, making the space ready for the next phase of the project.

Southport, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: The stories of those buried in the John N. Smith Cemetery in Southport have never been shared with the broader community. As the only African American cemetery in the region, the John N Smith Cemetery Restoration and Preservation group created an outdoor museum onsite. The museum teaches residents about the racial and economic discrimination that Black members of that community have faced, as well as contributions residents made to the community. Project organizers designed and installed interpretive signage, as well as benches and a display board for public announcements and other information. Designed to be accessible for people of all ages, the space recounts an important part of Southport's history and culture.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Dexter, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Park enhancements

Description: The Town of Dexter installed new benches on local streets and in parks to make them more accessible for older adults and those with mobility issues. Three parks -- Wayside, Ronco and Veterans Parks -- received the new benches. The Town also paved the entrance of Wayside Park, a popular gathering space for free weekly summer concerts. In addition, the Town offered Pop-Up Universities intended to provide residents with activities for learning, creativity and physical wellbeing, as well as social interaction. Topics include flower arranging, meditation and chair yoga.

Millinocket, ME

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Public space activation

Description: This grant will facilitate the transformation of a small, underutilized room into a welcoming and functional seating area in the library. This space will be reimagined to serve a diverse age group, fostering inclusivity and engagement among library visitors to relax, craft, and socialize.

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