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West Baton Rouge, LA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge has been involved in community art and arts education for many years. The Council engaged professional writing instructors to hold two workshops for older adults in creative writing, poetry, self-publication and basic editing. They then invited participants to share their writing with the public at an open mic night. Project organizers also created a post-workshop online forum, allowing the cohort to continue writing together and receiving feedback on their work.

Omaha, NE

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: The North Omaha neighborhood has experienced economic challenges due to a local history of systemic racism and environmental pollution. ONE Omaha set out to invest in the community, supporting neighborhood associations' work to address local concerns. They hosted Omaha NeighborFest 2018, an gathering aimed at teaching residents community development skills. At the event, ONE Omaha conducted a series of workshops and demonstrations on how to activate spaces and engage people. More than 600 city residents attended, including those historically left out of local decision making. The event spurred tangible change in the neighborhood, including a beautification effort to install recycling kiosks and a new mural honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

Honolulu, HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2018

Project Category: Engaging residents in vibrant public places

Description: Honolulu's urban core has three shoreline parks -- all located near each other. But the parks were not connected, and all were underused. The Trust of Public land launched its A Lei of Parks effort, a one-day pop-up event to connect the shoreline. The event allowed residents to walk and bike between Ala Moana Regional Park, Kewalo Basin Park and Kaka'ako Waterfront Park. Volunteers used chalk, banners and signage to denote a temporary pathway. They hosted a walking event and set up kiosks to give passersby information about the effort. During the demonstration, participants could take a survey about a possible permanent parks connection. Organizers say the pop-up raised awareness of the value of parks, leading to the Parks for People renovation project.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects


AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Entrepreneurship and improved economic resilience

Description: This project created a toolkit to grow local tourism along the Main-to-Main Trail. The trail winds across North Carolina, connecting more than 60 Main Street communities to showcase public art and murals, local food and cultural history and experiences. North Carolina Main Street hoped to build capacity among participating communities, helping them identify their assets and create an economic development strategy. To do this, they created a template for a tourism itinerary, which visitors can follow to find local attractions. They also developed a playbook for affective social media marketing. Since publishing the toolkit, the Rural Planning center has provided guidance on photography, videography and destination writing. Additionally, they are helping local small businessowners to better serve tourists.

Orange County, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Many bus stops in rural Orange County lacked shelters or a place to sit. To address this, the Orange County Department on Aging worked with the county's public transportation department to install new seats at 15 bus stops. Designed to maximize space at stops without enough room for a transit shelter, the seats accommodate two people and are attached to the bus stop sign. Project organizers say the seats increase accessibility in rural parts of the county, where no bus stop sign was in place. Following installation of the seats, the public transportation department committed to building permanent bus shelters in high-traffic, rural areas.


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