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San Francisco, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: When the Florence Fang Asian Community Garden opened in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in 2014, it focused on serving Asian immigrant elders and filled a need for green space and fresh food. This project expanded the garden, adding 3,000 square feet of gardening space and making it the second largest urban farm in San Francisco. The additional space allowed gardeners to try new techniques -- such as row planting -- that increased the garden's yields. Additionally, organizers upgraded the garden's compost system and set up beehives to help with pollinating crops. The larger harvest allowed garden organizers to distribute four tons of produce annually to local families in needs, including culturally relevant foods such as bok choy and Chinese chives.

Camp Hill, AL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: The project will create a rural community garden which will grow produce to improve the diets of older residents, while also providing them with a safe place to get exercise by walking.

Anderson, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Community Gardens

Description: To expose locals to art and grow food for people in need, Anderson Arts Center beautified its campus by creating a new mural and community garden. The first mural in Anderson, it depicts a rabbit alongside a colorful fruit and vegetables. Since its completion, it has inspired other local organizations to create their own murals around town. Project organizers say within the garden's first year, the Center taught nearly 500 children about growing fresh vegetables. The Arts Center, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, hosts gallery exhibitions featuring regional, national and international artists, orchestrates downtown public arts projects and is home to a summer arts camp and arts school for children and adults.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

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.

Lynn, MA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2023

Project Category: Walkability

Description: This project will conduct three walk audits to assess challenges that older adults face when accessing a shared-use trail. The organization will work with local stakeholders and city officials to advocate for improvements to increase accessibility and use.

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